April 24, 2007 | Kevin Bacon to star in HBO Films' 'Taking Chance'
Kevin Bacon ("Mystic River") will star in the HBO Films production TAKING CHANCE, it was announced today by HBO Films president Colin Callender. Based on the first-person account of Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strobl (USMC), the film chronicles his poignant journey as the volunteer military escort officer who is assigned to accompany the body of 19-year-old Lance Corporal Chance Phelps (USMC), who was killed in action in Iraq, across America back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming in spring 2004. Bacon will portray Lt. Col. Strobl, a Desert Storm veteran who recently retired after serving 24 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Strobl developed the original screenplay with the strong support of Phelps' parents, John Phelps and Gretchen Mack. Two- time Oscar�-nominated producer Ross Katz ("Lost in Translation") will be making his directorial debut. TAKING CHANCE is written by Lt. Col. Michael Strobl and Ross Katz, based on the short story by Strobl; executive producers are Brad Krevoy ("A Love Song for Bobby Long"), Cathy Wischner-Sola and Ross Katz; producer is Lori Keith Douglas ("The Notorious Bettie Page"). HBO Films vice president Jenni Sherwood is the executive in charge of the production. TAKING CHANCE will start production this summer and debut on HBO in 2008.
Says Callender, "This story dramatizes events we seldom, if ever, read about in our newspapers or see on the television news. When I first read 'Taking Chance' it reminded me of a modern-day 'The Best Years of Our Lives.' Here is a Desert Storm vet writing about his own experiences on escort duty with an honesty and dignity that jumped off the page. I cannot imagine anyone better than Kevin Bacon to bring this role to the screen."
Krevoy adds, "I applaud HBO for championing this project, which focuses on the sacrifices made every day by our men and women in the military. Lt. Col. Strobl's original short story 'Taking Chance' was an inspiring and fitting tribute to Chance, his family, and all the men and women who have given their life in the service of our country." Lt. Cpl. Chance Phelps was killed April 9, 2004, by hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, and had been deployed to Iraq just one month prior to his death. More than 1,000 people attended his funeral in Dubois (population 960).