Parkland is a JFK film – but not as you know it

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Murder mystery, political conspiracy, the most dramatic trailer of the year, oh, and a former Disney star's legit adult crossover attempt – welcome to Parkland.

These are the makings of the Tom Hanks-produced new film about the chaotic events following the assassination of JFK in Dallas. We expect controversy and a bucket of awards – recent years have proven a success for American history (think last year’s Argo and the preceding year’s The Help).

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Arriving on our shores in November, Parkland has an awards season-ready a cast that includes the likes of Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton and, in a surprising turn, tween sensation Zac Efron as a young MD. Sweat-faced and stubble-clad, this is no High School Musical.

Adapted from Vincent Bugliosi’s non-fiction bestseller Four Days In November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the film focuses on the characters central to the aftermath of JFK’s assassination; chief of Secret Service, the doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, the family of assumed assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and the man responsible for the most viewed bit of film in history.

From Alvy Singer’s paranoid musings in Annie Hall and the Oscar-winning Kevin Costner vehicle, JFK to the more recent Greg Kinnear-starring miniseries The Kennedys and one of the more moodier episodes of Mad Men, the assassination of the 35th US president has been ubiquitous in film and television.

But with first-time director Peter Landsmen at the helm and producer Tom Hanks, a man who's no stranger to historical cinema, we're betting Parkland will bring something worthwhile to oft-visited territory.