History recruits celebrities for documentary

Matt Damon, Josh Brolin among those in 'People Speak'

History is teaming with education organization the People Speak for a dramatic documentary starring a host of celebrity talent.

Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Viggo Mortensen, David Strathairn, Marisa Tomei and others will lend performances chronicling key moments in U.S. history. Damon will appear in a vignette about John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," Tomei will play factory worker Harriet Hanson Robinson, and Eddie Vedder will read Bob Dylan's "Masters of War."

The network will air a two-hour special titled "The People Speak" during the fourth quarter of next year and release at least 24 shortform segments through 2010 for online and VOD distribution.

Damon and Brolin also are on board as executive producers, along with Speak co-director Chris Moore, Anthony Arnove, Howard Zinn, David McKillop and Russ McCarroll.

"This is a brand marriage made in heaven," History executive vp and GM Nancy Dubuc said. "Matt and Chris are trying to show here that democracy is not a spectator sport."

The film will focus on the concept of democracy and be based on the lives of ordinary Americans who changed the course of history.

"I am a firm believer in this project, proud to be part of it and proud that we are working jointly with History," Damon said.
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