NBC working on George Washington series with ‘King’s Speech’ writer and Barry Levinson

By Daniel S Levine,

Another iconic president is about to get the Hollywood treatment again. NBC is reportedly developing a series on George Washington with Oscar-winning writer David Seidler and director Barry Levinson.

Deadline reports that the series will be based on Ron Chernow’s Washington: A Life, which won a Pulitzer Prize. The series, simply titled George Washington at this point, will be an intimate look at the first President of the United States that will reveal his true nature to the public for the first time. The Washington of this series is not going to be the same mythic figure who chopped down the cherry tree.

“There’s George Washington the national icon, gazing out from the dollar bill with his mouthful of supposedly wooden teeth, and then there’s the George Washington who had an adulterous affair with his best friend’s wife,” Seidler told Deadline. “The George Washington obsessed with social status, finely-tailored clothes, his image. Not an icon, a very human human-being, who learned how to lead. That’s the man I want to understand.”

The series is being produced by NBCUniversal’s Carnival Films & Television, the same company behind Downton Abbey.

According to Cinemablend, Levinson will direct the pilot, which was written by Seidler. The writer won an Oscar for his The King’s Speech script and Levinson won Best Director for Rain Man.

“We know the myth of the man, but the reality was he was a flawed and troubled character who overcame his flaws to become one of the foremost leaders of this nation,” Levinson said of Washington.

Executive producers on the project include Levinson, Seidler and Tom Fontana.

No actors have been attached to the project yet and it was not announced when production would start.

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