To me, Gregg Kinnear signing to play President John F. Kennedy in an allegedly right-wing-friendly History Channel miniseries called The Kennedys means one of two things.
One, Kinnear isn’t all that worried about liberal Hollywood establishment types frowning at this decision, which some are certain to do. Or two, he really needs the work and is willing to risk offending those (like Robert Greenwald and former Kennedy confidante Theodore Sorenson) who’ve sounded alarms about the tone and political leanings of the forthcoming epic.
Rabid conservative Joel Surnow is exec producing The Kennedys. The screenplay has been written by Steve Kronish while Jon Cassar will direct. Kronish and Cassar are alums of the right-wing-minded 24, which Surnow co-created. A History Channel spokesperson told Daily Variety‘s Michael Schneider that that the mini’s script “is currently being annotated and vetted by History’s resident historians.”
Katie Holmes is also on-board, presumably hired to play Jackie Kennedy. Barry Pepper and Tom Wilkinson will also costar.
Update: Yesterday afternoon (4.28) L.A. Times columnist/blogger Patrick Goldstein claimed to have read “the scripts” (he doesn’t say how many) and concluded that they’re “pretty impressive, and certainly well within the bounds of propriety, especially considering the reams of conspiratorial, often sleazy revisionist histories that have been written about JFK’s womanizing and the Kennedy family dysfunction. The casting of Kinnear as JFK also makes it hard to believe that Surnow is doing a hatchet job, since if Kinnear is anything, judging from most of his roles, he is the epitome of someone who represents middle-American decency and idealism.”