Tom Hanks Talks THE PACIFIC, Upcoming Series on JFK Assassination

     March 4, 2010

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In a profile piece by Time Magazine, Tom Hanks is depicted as the accidental history buff.  He wasn’t interested in history when he was in school, but now he, along with Steven Spielberg, is about to release his second ten-part World War II mini-series.  HBO’s eagerly awaited The Pacific follows three soldiers as they travel through the Pacific campaign.  In the piece, Hanks notes that they won’t shrink from the horror of America’s own brutality in the war, and he’s eager to show how our battle in the Pacific compares to a current war in the Middle East:

“From the outset we wanted to make people wonder how our troops can reenter society in the first place.  How could they just pick up their lives and get on with the rest of us. Back in World War II we viewed the Japanese as ‘yellow slant-eyed dogs’ that believed in different Gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. Does that sound familiar by any chance to what’s going on today?”

Hit the jump for what Hanks had to say regarding his plans for a mini-series about the JFK Assassination.  The Pacific premieres March 14th at 9/8c on HBO.

tom_hanks__2_.jpgHanks also commented on his plan to give the mini-series treatment to Vincent Bugliosi’s 1,648 tome, Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy:

Hanks and Gary Goetzman will act as executive producers, and Hanks hopes the adaptation will air in 2013. He believes the public has been snookered into believing that Lee Harvey Oswald was framed. “We’re going to do the American public a service,” Hanks says. “A lot of conspiracy types are going to be upset. If we do it right, it’ll be perhaps one of the most controversial things that has ever been on TV.”

I think it will be controversial insofar as conspiracy buffs will rail against it and some people will go, “Huh, that’s interesting.”  The JFK Assassination is fascinating, but it’s hardly a hot-button issue.  Hopefully, Hanks will not only systematically debunk of conspiracy claims (as Bugliosi’s book does), but get to the heart of why Kennedy’s assassination created such theories in the first place, and why people have invested in these theories for over forty years.

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