The American Civil War began at Fort Sumter in April of 1861, making the year 2011 the 150th anniversary of America's deadliest war in history. To mark this milestone, an eight-hour epic mini-series about the conflict, titled To Appomattox (which refers to the site of the Confederacy's surrender to the Union army), is currently in development.
What makes it extra exciting? Several country stars apparently have been tapped for acting roles--two of them representing major military players.
Dwight Yoakam is confirmed by his management to be attached to the project. According to the production's website, he's set to play General George Meade, who led Union soldiers to defeat Robert E. Lee at the famous Battle of Gettysburg.
Meanwhile, producers are looking to add former Brooks & Dunn partner Kix Brooks to the cast, although no deal has been confirmed yet. Brooks would portray Winfield Scott Hancock, another distinguished Union general at Gettysburg, who ran for President in 1880 (he was defeated by James Garfield).
Another set of well-known country names attached to the series are the guys in Rascal Flatts. The trio has a particularly plum role in that they will reportedly be providing the soundtrack to the series. According to the Appomattox site, the album will include "original music of their own, as well as their original interpretations of some of the most important and beloved songs in our musical history, while also featuring original and traditional tracks from their industry peers in a celebration of the birth of the American music tradition."
Additionally, the Flatts are cited for acting parts in the ensemble, which are described as "roles that bring to life the true stories of the private soldiers from both sides of the conflict." To round things out, Laura Bell Bundy is named to appear as a Civil War-era heroine.
Rascal Flatts has been discussing their involvement with the project to the press for several months now; however, both they and Bundy have not currently confirmed their roles.
Fulltime actors recruited for the cast include Dexter's Michael C. Hall, CSI's William Petersen, and Big Love's Bill Paxton.
As fans know, Yoakam has acted in many productions, notably his critically acclaimed performances in Sling Blade and Panic Room. Brooks is about to appear in his first acting role, an independent film, which he shot last month. Bundy is a seasoned Broadway performer. And, the Flatts have tried their hand at TV, most recently their appearance on CSI earlier this year. All in all, quite a talented bunch--good picks on the part of the producers!
There is no firm airing date for the series yet--in fact, the site suggests the series hasn't even finished casting yet. I'll be keeping an eye out, and will keep you updated.
Will you be waiting and watching too? Any other musicians you think should be added to the cast? Be sure to let me know what you think.
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