Chappaquiddick, the upcoming independent film about a 1969 incident involving U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, has found its leading man and a new director.
Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) landed the role as Kennedy, according to Deadline. He’ll portray the U.S. Senator during the time of his car accident in the summer of 1969 on Chappaquiddick, the small island connected by ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. Kennedy veered off a bridge, and his car went into a channel. His passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne—a campaign staffer of Robert Kennedy’s—drowned. Senator Kennedy emerged, left the scene, and didn’t report the accident for 10 hours.
Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson was originally attached to direct Chappaquiddick, but Deadline reports she is off the project due to a scheduling conflict.
Instead, John Curran, who directed The Painted Veil and the upcoming Lewis and Clark HBO miniseries starring Casey Affleck, is now on board.
Chappaquiddick is one of two projects about the Kennedys that’s underway. The other is a follow-up to Reelz’s 2011 miniseries The Kennedys, where Matthew Perry is starring as Ted Kennedy and Katie Holmes is returning as Jackie Onassis.