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Seth Rogen will be reuniting with his Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green, playing Walter Cronkite in Newsflash, based on Ben Jacoby’s script about the news coverage of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. (Jacoby’s script was just announced as a Black List finalist earlier today.)
When the former President was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, it was one of the first huge stories in the new age of television and the then 47-year-old Cronkite became one of the country’s most trusted news sources just a year after signing with CBS.
The project was put together by Stampede Ventures, the new company from former Warner Bros. production chief Greg Silverman, who will produce the film with Adam Kolbrenner.
Jacoby’s script revolves around Cronkite, his producer Don Hewitt, their boss Jim Aubrey and a young Dan Rather, who happened to be in Texas at the time of the shooting and made his bones as a journalist with his coverage of the President’s assassination. Aubrey was in charge of making CBS Evening News and was ready to scrap the show and remove Cronkite as anchor before the pivotal events that proved the CBS News team to be so beneficial to informing the American public.
Those other three roles should be juicy ones for whomever Green and co. cast, although an older Rather was the subject of James Vanderbilt’s 2015 film Truth, in which he was played by Robert Redford.
Jacoby previously wrote the script for The Ravine about how landowners were pushed out of California’s Chavez Ravine to make room for Dodgers Stadium. Jacoby also wrote Bleed, released by Gravitas Ventures last year and Paul Street’s Borderland. He is currently developing The First Omen for director Antonio Campos (Christine), Orion Express and adapting Dash Shaw’s graphic novel Doctors for Mike Cahill (Another Earth) to direct.
As a long-time fan of Green, especially his most recent film Stronger, it’s exciting to see the indie filmmaker taking on bigger subjects like this one. It will also be interesting to see him reunite with Rogen for such a serious subject ten years after their R-rated action-comedy. This will only be Rogen’s second major dramatic acting role (if you don’t count the more serious moments in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up) since appearing as Steve Wozniak in Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs a few years back.
This project and Rogen’s attachment were first reported by Deadline, who also found the great video of Cronkite’s announcement of JFK’s assassination below.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor