Stewart Till’s Signpost Films has partnered with actor-filmmaker Emilio Estevez to produce a drama that centers on the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy.
Estevez, who will direct and is expected to take one of the starring roles, penned the script. Tentatively titled “Bobby,” it’s set in the 16 hours leading up to the assassination and revolves around 23 characters who witnessed the events.
Ensembler, which will next go out to cast, is expected to start shooting in August. Signpost will retain all rights to pic, and production will be overseen by Till, Estevez and newly hired production prexy Nina Sadowsky.
Project interweaves a number of different storylines and culminates in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles as Kennedy is assassinated.
Estevez, who is repped by WMA and manager Mike Marcus, started developing the project two years ago after taking part in a photo shoot at the historic hotel for the film “Rated X,” which he directed and starred in with his brother, Charlie Sheen.
“The hotel itself was something of a microcosm of the country at the time, reflecting the racial divisions in the U.S. at the time and how divided people were about Vietnam,” Estevez told Daily Variety. “It was important if you were a 19-year-old man at the time that Bobby Kennedy was elected president because his promise was to get us out of the war rather than escalate it.”
Estevez said he intends to use newsreel footage of Robert Kennedy in the film to depict the former president, as well as make use of the speech Robert Kennedy gave after Martin Luther King was shot.
“It’s an incredibly intricate story about a group of people caught in a particular moment in time which gives us amazing insight into American society and the issues people were facing in their lives,” Till said.
Till launched Signpost last November as a film production and worldwide distribution venture. Backed by Mosaic Media Group and Canada’s CDP Capital, it has a first-look deal for U.S. distribution with Miramax.
Its slate includes the Chow Yun-Fat vehicle “Bulletproof Monk,” currently shooting in Toronto, and “The House of Sand and Fog,” which Signpost is co-financing with DreamWorks.