Kevin Macdonald to direct and exec produce the first two episodes of time-travel series about Kennedy assassination
Hulu original series “11/22/63,” from JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot based on Stephen King’s best-selling time-travel novel about the Kennedy assassination, has signed Kevin Macdonald (“The Last King of Scotland,” “State of Play”) to direct and exec produce the first two of the nine-episode event series.
The production from Warner Bros. Television — scribed by Bridget Carpenter, who also will exec produce along with King and Abrams — cast several principal characters, in addition to the previously announced casting of lead James Franco. Those include Chris Cooper (“August: Osage County,” “Adaptation”) and Cherry Jones, a Tony Award-winning actress best known for her work on Broadway whose TV turns have included Fox’s “24.”
Macdonald, a native of Scotland, won an Academy Award for 1999’s “One Day in September,” a documentary about the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, when a Palestinian terrorist group held Israeli athletes hostage.
Franco stars as high school English teacher Jake Epping in the adaptation of King’s best-selling 2011 novel of the same name. The series follows Epping, who travel back in time to try to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on the fateful date in American history.
The additional cast, announced Tuesday, includes Cooper as the irascible owner of Al’s diner and a mentor and friend to Epping, and Jones as Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother.
The “11/22/63” cast also includes Daniel Webber as Lee Harvey Oswald; Sarah Gadon as the librarian who falls in love with Franco’s character (unaware of his double life); George MacKay as a bartender who becomes Jake’s ally; Lucy Fry as Lee Harvey Oswald’s Russian wife; and Leon Rippy as a janitor at Epping’s school in 2015.
Hulu has not announced a premiere date for “11/22/63.” The company announced the pact last September.