Into the West
The story of the opening of the American West is given epic treatment in Turner Network Television (TNT)'s 12-hour original limited series INTO THE WEST, produced by TNT in association with DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg. This dramatic tale of the adventurous exploration of the American wilderness, the clash of two cultures, the rush to riches in a new land and the building of a new civilization features a starring cast headed by Matthew Settle (U-571, Band of Brothers); Skeet Ulrich (Miracles, As Good as It Gets); Michael Spears (Dances with Wolves, TNT's Broken Chain); Tonantzin Carmelo (King Rikki, 187 Shadow Lane); George Leach (DreamKeeper, After the Harvest); and Zahn McClarnon (TNT's Crazy Horse and Cooperstown).
Currently shooting in Calgary and New Mexico, INTO THE WEST is slated to premiere on TNT in June 2005. Darryl Frank (Taken, Las Vegas) and Justin Falvey (Las Vegas), co-heads of DreamWorks Television, serve as co-executive producers, along with William Mastrosimone (Sinatra, The Burning Season), who also wrote the overall story for the series and the scripts for three of its installments. INTO THE WEST is produced by David A. Rosemont, executive producer of TNT's Purgatory and Emmy-winning Door to Door.
"INTO THE WEST is the most ambitious original production TNT has ever undertaken," said Michael Wright, senior vice president of original programming for TNT. "Producing something of this size and complexity would be impossible without the amazing talents and passionate hard work of those who are bringing it to life. We are fortunate to have some of the most talented people in the industry working on what we believe will be the television event of the year."
INTO THE WEST follows two multi-generational families, one settlers and the other Native American, each telling the dramatic stories of the development of the West from their distinct points of view. One family is the Wheeler clan, a Virginia family of wheelwrights making their trek westward. The other family is a plains Native American family hailing from the Lakota tribe. Throughout the series, the two families will experience the historical and cultural events that led to an epic clash of culture, often coming in contact with notable figures and events from the era.
Night one is directed by Robert Dornhelm (Anne Frank, Spartacus, Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story) from a script by William Mastrosimone. In addition to the main cast, it features Simon R. Baker (I, Robot, The Sweet Hereafter); Sean Blakemore (Keepin' It Real, Woman Thou Art Loosed); Josh Brolin (Hollow Man, Mister Sterling); Gary Busey (Lethal Weapon, I'm With Busey); Will Patton (Armageddon, Remember the Titans); Francesco Quinn (Platoon, 24); Geno Silva (Amistad, Mullholland Drive); and Alan Tudyk (I, Robot, Firefly).
Night two is directed by Simon Wincer (Lonesome Dove, TNT's Monte Walsh and Crossfire Trail) from a script by Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Day Reagan Was Shot) and story by William Mastrosimone. It features Beau Bridges (We Were the Mulvaneys, Without Warning: The James Brady Story); Jessica Capshaw (The Practice, Minority Report); Emily Holmes (TNT's The Goodbye Girl, Paycheck); Robert Maloney (Panic in the Skies); Keri Russell (Felicity, We Were Soldiers, The Upside of Anger); and Jay Tavare (Cold Mountain, Executive Decision).
Night three is directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Taken, Battlestar Galactica) from a script by Craig Storper (Open Range) and story by William Mastrosimone. It features Nathaniel Arcand (The Unknown, TNT's Crazy Horse); Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings, 50 First Dates); Irene Bedard (TNT's Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee, Two for Texas); Gil Birmingham (Skins, Body & Soul); Tyler Christopher (General Hospital, Out of the Black); Balthazar Getty (Ladder 49, Traffic); Rachael Leigh Cook (Josie and the Pussycats, She's All That); Daniel Gillies (Spider-Man 2, Bride and Prejudice); Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves, TNT's The Broken Chain); Christian Kane (Friday Night Lights, TNT's Crossfire Trail); Russell Means (The Last of the Mohicans, Pocahontas); Matthew Modine (Le Divorce); Tyler Posey (Collateral Damage, Maid in Manhattan); John Terry (Full Metal Jacket, The Living Daylights); Sheila Tousey (Law & Order: SVU, Thunderheart).
Night four is directed by Michael W. Watkins (Boomtown, Las Vegas) from a script by Kirk Ellis (The Grass Harp) and story by William Mastrosimone. It features Rachael Leigh Cook, Christian Kane, Irene Bedard, Tom Berenger (Platoon, The Big Chill); Lance Henriksen (Millenium, Aliens); and Wes Studi (The Last of the Mohicans, Heat). Additional cast for night four, as well as cast lists for nights five and six will be announced soon.
Night five is directed by Timothy Van Patten (The Sopranos, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire) from a script by William Mastrosimone, and night six is directed by Jeremy Podeswa (Carnivale, Six Feet Under) from a script by Mastrosimone.