Some of the nation’s most familiar historical figures are making their way to both the big and small screens. While Stephen Spielberg’s film “Lincoln” is captivating headlines, George Washington is also due for his own Hollywood revival. The nation’s first president is set to be depicted in a new NBC drama series — one that will provide a lens into his character and accomplishments.
The project is already in development with the working title “George Washington” and some well-known names are already behind it. David Seidler, the Oscar-winning writer who brought “The King’s Speech” to the theaters is joined by producer, writer and director Barry Levinson (he will executive produce), among others.
Seidler is writing the script and executive producing the fascinating series. Not long ago, the 75-year-old became, as Deadline notes, the oldest director every to win best original screenplay for his depiction of Britain’s King George VI in “The King’s Speech.” Now, for the first time, he will try his hand at television, penning the “George Washington” script based on Ron Chernow’s biography of America’s first president, entitled, “Washington: A Life.” Here’s how Deadline describes the coming series:
“George Washington” is described as an intimate look at the enigmatic leader who became the father of a nation on one side of the Atlantic and a terrorist on the other, a man to be eliminated at all costs by the British Crown. As episodes move back and forth through the war hero and President’s life and tell the little-known and unlikely story of his survival and triumph, his true character is revealed for the first time. And he is not the man who chopped down the cherry tree.
According to Seidler’s description of Washington, it looks as though there will be both positives and negatives on display — a complete view of a complex human being who, like every man and woman, had both palatable and unattractive personal attributes.
“There’s George Washington the national icon, gazing out from the dollar bill with his mouthful of supposedly wooden teeth, and then there’s the George Washington who had an adulterous affair with his best friend’s wife,” Seidler said about the former president. “The George Washington obsessed with social status, finely-tailored clothes, his image. Not an icon, a very human human-being, who learned how to lead. That’s the man I want to understand.”
Levinson added to this description, noting that many people know little about Washington, especially considering his prominent role in history. While Americans are generally well-versed in “the myth of the man,” the details about his other attributes are generally unexamined.
“The reality was he was a flawed and troubled character who overcame his flaws to become one of the foremost leaders of this nation,” Levinson proclaimed.