Now its time to let the film’s director, former journalist Peter Landesman, give his side of the story. He spoke with the Hollywood Reporter on Friday.
Q. The assassination story has been revisited many times, from many different perspectives. What inspired you to make this movie?
Landesman: “I was a war correspondent and journalist for a long time, and I was very near the towers on 9/11 and very shortly after in Afghanistan. I love writing in compressed time periods, because the act of survival in the midst of panic and fear, that’s where true heroism comes. If you have a uniform and you’re expected to do things, it’s a sort of incremental heroism. But when you’re faced with life or death and survival, it’s different. In Parkland, these people are in a car accident. And for the entire length of the movie, the car is spinning, ready to crash into a wall, and it’s ‘What do I do?”
“You’re the brother of the devil. You’re the man who accidentally shot the only evidence of the murder. You’re the 26-year-old rookie doctor and suddenly you’re covered in the president’s blood. I found those dramas towering over this endless [conspiracy] dialogue over something you’ll never get close to proving. This film kind of refuses to have that dialogue. We can talk about that all day. We can talk about it as we talk about the existence of God — we’ll talk in a circle and end up where we began. The film just refuses to do that; its focus is elsewhere. And it’s the 50th anniversary [of Kennedy’s assassination in November], and I thought it was time to have this.”
Read the entire interview with Landesman here.
The film starring Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Efron, and Marcia Gay Harden opens on October 4. Whatever you think of the film, the trailer shows it has superb production values.