HBO MINISERIES PRESENTS THE PACIFIC, AN EPIC TEN-PART EVENT,
A PLAYTONE AND DREAMWORKS PRODUCTION, EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY TOM HANKS, STEVEN SPIELBERG AND GARY GOETZMAN, AND STARRING JAMES BADGE DALE, JOE MAZZELLO AND JON SEDA
THE STORY OF U.S. MARINES IN THE PACIFIC THEATER OF
WORLD WAR II DEBUTS MARCH 14 ON HBO
Directed By Carl Franklin, David Nutter, Jeremy Podeswa,
Tony To, Tim Van Patten And Graham Yost;
Written By Laurence Andries, Michelle Ashford, Bruce C. McKenna,
George Pelecanos, Robert Schenkkan And Graham Yost.
"It is not a history, and it is not my story alone. I have attempted, rather, to be the spokesman for my comrades, who were swept with me into the abyss of war."
� Eugene B. Sledge, With the Old Breed
The epic ten-part miniseries event THE PACIFIC debuts with Part One on SUNDAY, MARCH 14 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), followed by other parts debuting on consecutive Sundays at the same time through May 16.
The HBO Miniseries presentation of a Playtone and DreamWorks production is executive produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, the producing team behind the Emmy(R) Award-winning and Golden Globe-winning 2001 HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers." Hanks and Goetzman also executive produced the HBO miniseries "John Adams," which won a record-breaking 13 Emmys(R) in 2008.
THE PACIFIC tracks the intertwined real-life journeys of three U.S. Marines � Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda) � across the vast canvas of the Pacific Theater during World War II. The miniseries follows these men and their fellow Marines from their first battle with the Japanese on Guadalcanal, through the rain forests of Cape Gloucester and the strongholds of Peleliu, across the bloody sands of Iwo Jima and through the horror of Okinawa, and finally to their triumphant but uneasy return home after V-J Day.
The miniseries is based in part on the books "Helmet for My Pillow," by Robert Leckie, and "With the Old Breed," by Eugene B. Sledge, with additional material from "Red Blood, Black Sand," by Chuck Tatum, and "China Marine," by Eugene B. Sledge, as well as original interviews conducted by the filmmakers.
THE PACIFIC is an HBO Miniseries presentation of a Playtone and DreamWorks Production; executive producers, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Gary Goetzman; co-executive producers, Tony To, Eugene Kelly, Graham Yost, Bruce C. McKenna; producers, Cherylanne Martin, Todd London, Steven Shareshian; co-producers, Robert Schenkkan, George Pelecanos, Michelle Ashford; supervising producer, Tim Van Patten; directors of photography, Remi Adefarasin, B.S.C. and Stephen Windon, A.C.S.; production designer, Anthony Pratt; music by Hans Zimmer, Geoff Zanelli and Blake Neely; music supervisors, Evyen J Klean, Deva Anderson; casting, Meg Liberman, CSA, Cami Patton, C.S.A, Christine King; editors, Alan Cody, A.C.E., Edward A. Warschilka, Marta Evry, A.C.E.; visual effects supervisor, John E. Sullivan; special effects supervisor, Joss Williams; costume designer, Penny Rose; historical consultant, Hugh Ambrose; senior military advisor, Capt. Dale A. Dye, USMC (Ret.). HBO Miniseries president Kary Antholis is the executive in charge of the production.
Parts One, Seven and Nine are directed by Tim Van Patten (HBO's "The Sopranos"); Part Two is directed by David Nutter (HBO's "Entourage"); Parts Three and Ten are directed by Jeremy Podeswa (HBO's "Six Feet Under"); Part Four is directed by Graham Yost (HBO's "Band of Brothers"); Part Five is directed by Carl Franklin("Devil in a Blue Dress"); Part Six is directed by Tony To (HBO's "Band of Brothers"); and Part Eight is directed by David Nutter/Jeremy Podeswa.
Parts One, Two, Seven and Nine are written by Bruce C. McKenna (HBO's "Band of Brothers"); Part Three is written by George Pelecanos (HBO's "The Wire") and Michelle Ashford (HBO's "John Adams"); Part Four is written by Robert Schenkkan ("The Quiet American") and Graham Yost; Part Five is written by Laurence Andries (HBO's "Six Feet Under") and Bruce C. McKenna; Part Six is written by Bruce C. McKenna and Laurence Andries and Robert Schenkkan; Part Eight is written by Robert Schenkkan and Michelle Ashford; and Part Ten is written by Bruce C. McKenna and Robert Schenkkan.
In addition to James Badge Dale ("Rubicon"), Joe Mazzello ("The Sensation of Sight") and Jon Seda ("Close to Home"), actors featured in THE PACIFIC include (in alphabetical order): Jon Bernthal ("Eastwick"), Joshua Bitton ("National Treasure"), Dwight Braswell, Betty Buckley (HBO's "Oz"), Tom Budge ("Last Train to Freo"), Josh Close ("The Unusuals"), Nate Corddry ("United States of Tara"), Matt Craven ("Public Enemies"), Linda Cropper ("McLeod's Daughters"), Caroline Dhavernas ("Breach"), Noel Fisher ("The Riches"), Brendan Fletcher ("88 Minutes"), Leon Willem Ford (HBO's "Tsunami: The Aftermath"), Scott Gibson ("Breach"), Josh Helman ("McLeod's Daughters"), Ashton Holmes ("Smart People"), Brandon Keener ("He's Just Not That Into You"), Isabel Lucas ("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"), Rami Malek ("Night at the Museum"), Martin McCann ("Closing the Ring"), Ian Meadows ("Home and Away"), Toby Leonard Moore ("Dollhouse"), Henry Nixon ("The Black Balloon"), Keith Nobbs ("The Black Donnellys"), Conor O'Farrell ("C.S.I."), Annie Parisse ("Law & Order"), Jacob Pitts ("21"), William Sadler ("The Shawshank Redemption"), Gary Sweet ("Police Rescue"), Anna Torv ("Fringe"), Claire van der Boom ("Rush") and Dylan Young ("Canal Road").
Principal photography for THE PACIFIC was completed on location in Australia's Far North Queensland and Victoria over a ten-month period beginning in August 2007.
ABOUT THE STORY
On Dec. 8, 1941, just over 24 hours after the Japanese surprise attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Congress issued a formal declaration of war against the Empire of Japan. For a decade, tensions had been mounting between Japan and the U.S., as the Japanese expanded their conquest of a large region including much of China and Southeast Asia. As a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the United States officially entered World War II, already in its third year of being waged by countries of the Allied powers, including the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, Canada and Australia, against the Axis powers of Japan, Germany and Italy.
Practically overnight, military recruiting offices across the country were jammed, as thousands of Americans rushed to enlist in the armed forces. Many of those young men chose to join the Marine Corps, which saw its ranks more than triple in the six months following Pearl Harbor.
While HBO's miniseries "Band of Brothers" followed the experiences of one company of Army paratroopers in the European Theater of Operations, THE PACIFIC depicts the war a world away in the Pacific Theater of Operations, which encompassed most of the Pacific Ocean and its islands, including the Philippines, the Netherlands East Indies, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. This miniseries follows the intersecting odysseys of three men of the 1st Marine Division, an infantry division nicknamed "The Old Breed" for its position as the oldest and largest active duty division of the U.S. Marine Corps. With the support of their fellow Marines and comrades in the Navy, Air Force and Army, the 1st Marine Division was at the forefront of many of hardest-fought campaigns of the Pacific War.
Private First Class (PFC) Robert Leckie (played by James Badge Dale) grew up in Rutherford, NJ, one of eight children. He began a professional sportswriting career for the Bergen Evening Record newspaper at age 16. Leckie, who would be christened "Lucky" by his comrades in arms, was one of those who enlisted in the Marine Corps just after Pearl Harbor. He served with H Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division as a machine gunner.
Sgt. John Basilone (played by Jon Seda) was raised in Raritan, NJ, one of ten children of Italian immigrant parents. In 1934, at age 18, Basilone enlisted in the U.S. Army and served three years in the Philippines, where he was a champion boxer. After a brief return to New Jersey, Basilone enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1940 and was a machine gunner with C Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, and later with the B Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division.
Born to a privileged family in Mobile, Ala., PFC Eugene B. Sledge (played by Joe Mazzello) had relatives on both sides of his family who fought for the Confederacy. Sledge was the son of a physician who was a medical officer during the First World War; he had turned 18 just one month before the U.S. entered the war, but a heart condition kept him from enlisting until Dec. 1942. Although his family urged him to train as an officer, Sledge ultimately joined as an enlisted man and served with K Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division as a mortarman.
Over the span of ten hours, THE PACIFIC takes an unflinching "under the helmet" look at the experiences of these men and their brothers in arms, each of whom finds himself fighting for his life on faraway specks of land they had never heard of � Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, Okinawa. Forced to endure extreme deprivation and a debilitating climate, while fighting a brutal enemy who would rather die than consider surrender, these Marines are driven to the brink of their humanity.
THE PACIFIC depicts these battles � physical, mental and emotional � as it explores the true human cost of war.
Tom Hanks (executive producer) is an award-winning actor, as well as a writer, producer and director. He holds the distinction of being the first actor in 50 years to be awarded back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards(R): in 1993 as the AIDS-stricken lawyer in "Philadelphia," and the following year in the title role of "Forrest Gump." He also earned Golden Globe Awards for both performances, as well as for "Big" and "Cast Away."
In 1996, Hanks made his feature film writing and directing debut with "That Thing You Do!" He also served as an executive producer, writer, director and actor for HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon," the Emmy(R) Award-winning miniseries that explored the Apollo space program. He also served as executive producer, writer and director for the epic HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," based on Stephen Ambrose's book, which aired in fall 2001 to wide-scale critical acclaim, receiving an Emmy(R) and Golden Globe for Best Miniseries in 2002. In 2008, Hanks executive produced the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries "John Adams," starring Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson, which won an Emmy(R) for Outstanding Miniseries and a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries. His other producing credits include "Where the Wild Things Are," "The Polar Express," "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," "The Ant Bully," "Charlie Wilson's War," "Mamma Mia!," "The Great Buck Howard," "Starter for 10" and the HBO series "Big Love." Hanks most recently reprised his onscreen role Robert Langdon in Ron Howard's thriller "Angels & Demons" and will next lend his voice to the character Woody in "Toy Story 3," set for 2010 release.
Steven Spielberg (executive producer) is a principal partner (with Stacy Snider) of DreamWorks Studios. One of the industry's most successful and influential filmmakers, Spielberg has directed, produced or executive produced some of the top-grossing films of all time, including "Jaws," "Jurassic Park" and "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial." Among his myriad honors, he is a three-time Academy Award(R) winner, earning two Oscars(R), for Best Director and Best Picture, for "Schindler's List" (which received seven Oscars(R) overall), and a third Oscar(R) for Best Director for "Saving Private Ryan." Starring Tom Hanks, "Saving Private Ryan" earned four other Oscars(R), as well as two Golden Globe Awards, for Best Picture (Drama) and Best Director. He has also been honored with Academy Award(R) nominations for Best Director for "Munich," "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
Spielberg recently wrapped principal photography on the 3D film "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn," due for release in 2011.
Spielberg has received ten DGA Award nominations, more than any other director in history, and received the DGA's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. He is also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Kennedy Center Honor.
Spielberg's other directing credits include three more "Indiana Jones" films, "The Color Purple," "War of the Worlds" and "A.I." His first directing credits included the telefilm "Duel" and the feature film "The Sugarland Express." He executive produced the two "Transformers" films and produced "Memoirs of a Geisha," as well as two films with director/producer Clint Eastwood: "Flags of Our Fathers," nominated for two Academy Awards(R), and its companion film, "Letters from Iwo Jima," nominated for four Oscars(R), including Best Picture.
In 1984, Spielberg formed his own production company, Amblin Entertainment, where he served as producer or executive producer on such films as "Gremlins," "The Goonies," the three "Back to the Future" movies, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "An American Tail," "The Land Before Time," "The Flintstones," "Casper," "Twister," "The Mask of Zorro," "Men in Black" and "Men in Black II." Amblin Entertainment also produced, with Warner Bros., the long-running TV series "ER."
Spielberg's other TV endeavors include executive producing with Tom Hanks HBO's award-winning miniseries "Band of Brothers"; the miniseries "Taken," which won the Emmy(R) for Best Miniseries; and the 12-hour limited series "Into the West." He is currently an executive producer on the series "United States of Tara."
Gary Goetzman (executive producer) counts among his producing credits "Where the Wild Things Are," "Mamma Mia!," "Charlie Wilson's War," "The Polar Express," "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," "The Ant Bully," "That Thing You Do!," "The Silence of the Lambs" (winner of five Academy Awards(R), including Best Picture), "Philadelphia," "Devil in a Blue Dress," "Beloved," "Miami Blues," "The Great Buck Howard," "Starter for 10," "Modern Girls," "Amos & Andrew," the Talking Heads concert film "Stop Making Sense," the 3-D IMAX film "Magnificent Desolation," the Emmy(R)- and Golden Globe-nominated HBO series "Big Love," the Emmy(R)- and Golden Globe-winning HBO miniseries "John Adams," the Emmy(R)- and Golden Globe-winning HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" and the HBO miniseries event THE PACIFIC. In 1998, Goetzman and Tom Hanks teamed to form Playtone, a film and television production company.
James Badge Dale (PFC Robert Leckie) will star in the highly anticipated new series "Rubicon," a serialized political thriller that revolves around an analyst at a New York City think tank (Dale) whose work leads him to uncover a clue that points him toward an unfolding global conspiracy. The son of the late Broadway, film and TV star Anita Morris and two-time Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Grover Dale, he grew up backstage and followed his parents into the arts, making his off-Broadway debut in 2003 with the Flea Theatre Company's "Getting into Heaven." Since then, Dale has returned to the stage to work with The New Group and New World Stages. His most notable film role to date is Barrigan in Martin Scorsese's Academy Award(R)-winning "The Departed." Dale's other films include "Lord of the Flies" and the film festival favorite "Cross Bronx." On TV, he appeared as Chase Edmunds, Kiefer Sutherland's younger partner, in the hit series "24," and also originated memorable roles in "Rescue Me" and "The Black Donnellys."
Joe Mazzello (PFC Eugene Sledge) is currently in production on David Fincher's "The Social Network," starring opposite Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg. He is a recent graduate of the USC Film School, where he wrote and directed a short film, "Matters of Life and Death." Just as the short film was making its way through the festival circuit, Mazzello was cast in "The Pacific" and left immediately for Australia to begin production. Mazzello started acting at age seven when he landed the role of Bobby in "Radio Flyer" directed by Richard Donner ("Superman" and "Lethal Weapon"). His big break, however, arrived at age ten when he was cast as Tim Murphy in Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park," as well as the sequel, "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." Mazzello also starred opposite Meryl Streep in "The River Wild" and opposite Ashley Judd in the adaptation of John Irving's novel "Simon Birch." Additionally, he has appeared in numerous TV shows, including "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Without a Trace" and "Providence."
Jon Seda (Sgt. John Basilone), a New Jersey native and amateur boxer, hung up his gloves in 1992 when he made his screen debut as a fighter in "Gladiator." Throughout the '90s, Seda's star rose thanks to roles in such films as "Carlito's Way" and "Twelve Monkeys," though it wasn't until "Homicide: Life on the Street" that Hollywood took serious notice. In 1996, Seda received critical acclaim for his role as Blue in the film "The Sunchaser," opposite Woody Harrelson, at the Cannes Film Festival. He then played the love interest to Jennifer Lopez's title character in the film "Selena," based on the true story. Seda's TV credits include series regular roles on "Kevin Hill" and "Close to Home," and recurring roles on "Ghost Whisperer" and HBO's "Oz." Seda has also guest starred on "House M.D.," "CSI: Miami," "NYPD Blue," "Las Vegas" and "Law & Order," among many others.
Ashton Holmes (Sid Phillips) made his feature film debut opposite Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello in David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence." He was most recently seen in "Smart People," which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and also starred Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church and Ellen Page. Holmes' other films include "Wind Chill," "Peaceful Warrior" and "What We Do Is Secret." His TV credits include a guest lead role on "House" and a recurring role on "Boston Legal." Holmes made his stage debut as the lead in the national tour of "Rent," landing the role after his first audition.
Dr. Sidney Phillips (WWII veteran) was born Sept. 2, 1924. His father, a teacher who became principal of Murphy High School in Mobile, Ala. during the War, had been a 2nd lieutenant in the 145th Infantry in World War One, and had been wounded in the Argonne Forest. Phillips' best friend growing up was Eugene B. Sledge.
Phillips graduated from high school in June 1941 and went to work with the U.S. Engineers, carrying maps between departments while saving for college. On Dec. 8, 1941, when he was just 17, he and a friend enlisted in the Marines. After training, Phillips was assigned to H Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines Regiment, 1st Marine Division, and taught to operate the 81 mm mortar.
In spring 1942, Phillips went overseas � first to New Zealand, and then, in August, to the Solomon Islands, where he participated in the landings on Guadalcanal. He survived four months of combat on the island and fought in many battles, including the Battle of the Tenaru. Phillips and his unit were taken off Guadalcanal on Dec. 22, 1942 and eventually sent to Melbourne, Australia for rest and recovery. In late 1943, he participated in the invasion of Cape Gloucester, on the western tip of New Britain. After several months of miserable fighting in the jungles there, he was sent to a base on the island of Pavuvu. From there, in summer 1944, Phillips was rotated back to the United States and accepted into the V-12 naval officer training program.
He was still in training when the war ended, and was able to return to Mobile. He married Mary Houston, had three children and became a family physician in his hometown.