History has ordered the eight-hour television event "Texas Rising" from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America, produced by Thinkfactory Media with Leslie Greif ("Hatfields & McCoys") serving as executive producer, it was announced today by Dirk Hoogstra, Executive Vice President and General Manager, History & H2. The event series, premiering in 2015, will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Two-time Oscar-nominated director Roland Joffé ("The Killing Fields," "The Mission") is set to helm with an all-star cast including:
· Bill Paxton as Sam Houston, the father of Texas.
· Brendan Fraser as Billy Anderson, a Texas Ranger with Comanche Indian ties.
· Ray Liotta as Lorca, an Alamo survivor seeking brutal revenge.
· Jeffrey Dean Morgan as "Deaf" Smith, a deaf and grizzled veteran Texas Ranger with an advanced case of consumption.
· Thomas Jane as James Wykoff, a homesteader who finds himself living in the middle of hostile Indian territory.
· Olivier Martinez as President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the tyrant dictator of Mexico.
· Chad Michael Murray as Mirabeau Lamar, a spirited Texas soldier who helps win the battle of San Jacinto.
· Michael Rapaport as Sgt. Ephraim Knowles, a would-be deserter and coward turned hero.
· Max Thieriot as Jack Hays, a volunteer freedom fighter who becomes the youngest Texas Ranger.
The network will announce additional star casting in the upcoming weeks.
"From 'Hatfields & McCoys' to 'The Bible' to 'Vikings,' History has made a major commitment to high-quality scripted historical dramas," said Hoogstra, "The Texas Revolution is one of the most gut-wrenching and inspirational events in our history. Doing the story justice will be a massive undertaking and we’re excited to begin production with one of the best teams in the business."
"It's exciting to be back working with History and Bill Paxton, a team that made television history with 'Hatfields & McCoys,'" said Greif. "The battle for Texas independence was epic and really the battle for the future of America. We have Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated talent, a stellar ensemble cast is being set, and with this team, we will seek to even further redefine and elevate the term 'event television.'"
In 1836, if west of the Mississippi was considered the Wild West then Texas was hell on earth. Crushed from the outside by Mexican armadas and attacked from within by ferocious Comanche tribes – no one was safe. But this was a time of bravery, a time to die for what you believed in and a time to stand tall against the cruel rule of the Mexican General Santa Anna. From General Sam Houston, to rag tag Rangers to the legendary "Yellow Rose of Texas" - this is a story of the human spirit rising in the face of insurmountable odds and claiming a piece of history for all eternity.
"Texas Rising" is co-produced by A+E Studios and ITV Studios America, and produced by Thinkfactory Media for History. Leslie Greif serves as executive producer for Thinkfactory Media. Dirk Hoogstra, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Julian P. Hobbs serve as executives in charge of production for History.