Bacon takes 'Chance' for HBO Films


Kevin Bacon has been tapped to star in HBO Films' "Taking Chance."

The film chronicles the real-life journey of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl (Bacon), who as a volunteer military escort officer accompanied the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps, killed in action in Iraq, back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyo., in spring 2004.

"Chance" was written by Strobl and Oscar-nominated producer Ross Katz ("Lost in Translation"). Strobl developed the screenplay with the support of Phelps' parents, John Phelps and Gretchen Mack.

The film will mark the directorial debut of Katz, who worked with HBO on "The Laramie Project." He also will executive produce "Chance" with Brad Krevoy ("A Love Song for Bobby Long") and Cathy Wischner-Sola. Lori Keith Douglas will serve as producer.

"Chance" is slated to start production in the summer for a 2008 premiere on HBO.

"When I first read 'Taking Chance,' it reminded me of a modern-day 'The Best Years of Our Lives,' " HBO Films president Colin Callender said. "I cannot imagine anyone better than Kevin Bacon to bring this role to the screen."

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.

Strobl, a Desert Storm veteran, wrote the short story "Chance" while serving with the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va., in April 2004. He retired from the Marine Corps this year.

"Chance" marks a rare TV stint for Bacon. He most recently appeared in Showtime's 2004 film "Cavedweller." Last year, he directed wife Kyra Sedgwick in an episode of TNT's "The Closer." He next appears in the features "Death Sentence" and "Rails & Ties."

Katz's feature producing credits also include the Oscar-nominated "In the Bedroom" and "Marie Antoinette."