Woody Harrelson and Rob Reiner Board “LBJ”
Political Drama is Slated for Production this Fall
Los Angeles, Calif. – June 16, 2015 – Academy Award® nominated actor Woody Harrelson and Academy Award® nominated director Rob Reiner have signed onto the film “LBJ,” a political drama being produced by Acacia Entertainment, Savvy Media Holdings, Castle Rock Entertainment, and Star Thrower Entertainment. Reiner will helm the project with Harrelson signed on to portray Lyndon Baines Johnson, as he ascends to become the 36th President of the United States. Filming is slated to begin in September 2015 in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La., Dallas, Texas and Washington, D.C.
The project was originally developed by brothers Tim and Trevor White (Star Thrower Entertainment) and is being financed by Acacia Entertainment, Savvy Media Holdings, Parkside Pictures, ITS Capital and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC). Matthew George is producing the film alongside Rob Reiner, Liz Glotzer, Michael R. Williams and Tim and Trevor White. Executive producers include Martin Shafer (Castle Rock Entertainment), Elizabeth A. Bell (production counsel), Susan Lanot (SMBC), Danny Roth and Damiano Tucci (Parkside Pictures), Michael Tadross Jr. (Tadross Media Group) and Julie May (ITS Capital). Sales are being handled by Voltage Pictures (international) and Creative Artists Agency (North American).
The script by Joey Hartstone, a 2014 Black List winner, centers around the political upheaval that Vice President Johnson faced when he was thrust into the presidency at the hands of an assassin’s bullet in November 1963. With political battles on both sides of the aisle, Johnson struggles to heal a nation and secure his presidency by passing Kennedy’s historic Civil Rights Act.
“Tim and Trevor White did a great job developing this project and Joey’s screenplay truly captures the soul of Johnson as he navigates this turbulent time with a government and a country in crisis,” explained George.
“During the sixties,” recalled Reiner “I was a hippy and Lyndon Johnson was my president. At the time LBJ was the target of most of my generation’s anti-Vietnam-War anger. But as time has passed and my understanding of political realities has grown; I’ve come to see LBJ in a very different light,” said Reiner. “He was a complex man; a combination of brilliant political instinct, raw strength, ambition, and deep insecurities. The strength and power of persuasion that he showed to his colleagues existed alongside of a soft, almost childlike quality that perhaps only Lady Bird got to see. His life’s path was nothing short of Shakespearean. From the poor hill country of West Texas to the corridors of power in Washington, he used his brilliant political acumen to pass the most groundbreaking civil rights legislation of the twentieth century. And had it not been for the Vietnam War, I believe he would have gone down as one of America’s greatest presidents.”
“We’re very excited about this project and see its central message of overcoming the odds and personal redemption as having universal appeal,” noted George. “We’re all very much looking forward to working with two incredible artists, Reiner and Harrelson, and the rest of the team on this amazing project,” espoused George.
About Castle Rock Entertainment
Castle Rock Entertainment is an American film and television production company founded in 1987 by Martin Shafer, director Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman, Glenn Padnick and Alan Horn. It is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which in turn is a unit of Time Warner. Castle Rock has produced over 90 feature films, including When Harry Met Sally, Misery, City Slickers, A Few Good Men, In the Line of Fire, The Shawshank Redemption, The American President, The Green Mile, Before Sunrise, Miss Congeniality, Michael Clayton, The Bucket List. Castle Rock has also produced several television shows, such as the successful sitcom Seinfeld.
About Acacia Entertainment
Acacia Entertainment is finance and production company that is a joint venture between the Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Economic Development Corporation, a wholly owned entity of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, and Savvy Media Holdings, a finance and production company owned by Matthew George. “LBJ” marks the first project under the new Acacia Entertainment label, which is looking to finance one to two films a year.
About Star Thrower Entertainment
Tim and Trevor White founded Star Thrower Entertainment, a film and television production and finance company, in order to create meaningful and lasting entertainment. From its inception, Star Thrower has been committed to supporting artists, empowering them to transform their visions into an enduring legacy of innovation. Their first film “Jamesy Boy” was directed and co-written by Trevor, and starred Mary-Louise Parker, Taissa Farmiga, and James Woods. They are currently in production on “The Waiting,” a thriller directed by Kasra Farahani starring James Caan, Logan Miller and Keir Gilchrist.
About Voltage Pictures
Voltage Pictures established in 2005 is a privately held, leading feature film and television financing, production and sales entity. The company has produced and financed films by legendary directors such as William Friedkin (Killer Joe), Terry Gilliam (The Zero Theorem), Robert Redford (The Company You Keep); has won six Academy Awards including Best Picture for The Hurt Locker (2010) directed by Kathryn Bigelow; and three Academy Awards for Dallas Buyers Club (2013) directed by Jean-Marc Vallee. It has also backed the directorial debuts of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon) and Natalie Portman (A Tale of Love and Darkness), which was selected for Cannes. Voltage recently completed Fathers and Daughters, directed by Gabriele Muccino, starring Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Aaron Paul and Good Kill, directed by Andrew Niccol, and starring Ethan Hawke. Its upcoming releases also include The Secret Scripture, directed by Jim Sheridan, with Rooney Mara, and Knock Knock, directed by Eli Roth, starring Keanu Reeves.