Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden Join JFK Drama 'Parkland'

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Zac Efron and Marcia Gay Harden

Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone is producing the historical drama with Exclusive Media.

Zac Efron and Marcia Gay Harden are joining the cast of John F. Kennedy ensemble drama Parkland.

Journalist and novelist Peter Landesman is writing the adapted screenplay and will direct. The project marks his directorial debut.

Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone is producing the feature with Exclusive Media. The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton and Jacki Weaver.

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This fall, Exclusive Media came abord to finance Parkland, which draws from author and former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's epic Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Bugliosi, a three-time Edgar winner, also wrote Helter Skelter, And the Sea Will Tell and Outrage.

Parkland recounts the true story of the chaotic events that occurred at Parkland Hospital in Dallas on the day Kennedy was murdered in November 1963. The film, to be shot in Austin, is eyeing a 2013 theatrical release timed to the 50th anniversary of the assassination.

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“Zac Efron continues to impress us with his recent shift into more dramatic roles which showcase his exceptional acting skills and Marcia Gay Harden is an unparalleled actress who gives tour de force performances in every film she appears. We look forward to seeing their combined talent in Peter Landesman’s powerful and mesmerizing story alongside the excellent cast already attached to this film,” said Exclusive Media co-chairman Guy East and Nigel Sinclair.

The film is intended to be released in November 2013, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death.

Efron is repped by CAA; Harden, by UTA.