Who thinks a Forrest mini-series would be awesome!

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Rusk County Avengers

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Its a thought I had last night, who else thinks that would be awesome if it followed the historical record to the letter? No sense in "Hollywoodizing" a thing about his life, it was dramatic enough!

To be honest, its not the first time I've thought of it. The first time was on a movie set, I wasn't needed so while reading a book on the Republic of Texas Navy, one of the crew asked if such a thing existed. After some chit chat he wondered aloud if such a story would make a good movie, after I said I thought so, I followed up saying there was a lot of history that would be good on film, then the director overhearing while walking by said "Let me guess, something Civil War?" to which I said "Sure, if you ever look up Nathan Bedford Forrest you'd agree!"

Getting back on track, its just a thought. I think a three episode miniseries would be awesome, each episode say an hour and forty-five minutes long. First episode, his early life to secession, second the war, third the end of the war, Reconstruction, and later years.

Who else thinks that would be a great show if done right? Lord knows advertising wouldn't be a problem, the news and political groups going bonkers would be a ton of free advertising for it.:D
 

Rusk County Avengers

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I think one could be done right, but it would depend on a few of factors:

1. A writer who knows their history.

2. The writer, producers, and director all on the same page wanting to do it right.

3. The distributor being brave enough, and being sold on the idea.

Those three things matching up might be enough, but it'd be a long risky shot because that's a lot to have match up, especially the distributor. I've seen distributors look at a filmed movie, and say "No that won't sell." then force a change that makes it not sell. Then there is the fact Forrest is a thorny subject and CW films not having the best track record on sales. (Thank you Gods & Generals great job!)

It all comes down to the right people. Which for this is a rarity.
 
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Polloco

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There are still a "ton" of people out there in TV viewing land who haven't a clue who Forrest was. This would be a great way to introduce Him to alot of folks. But some of these same people would switch channels when they found out Forrest wasn't PC or "enlightened" like themselves. I myself would love it.
 

diane

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I've always thought a Ken Burns style series would be good - with Ken Burns. He is quite liberal and all that, but I think that is exactly why he was able to handle Forrest fairly. That's all one could ask. I think if we can have series on the cavalrymen of the Indian wars - who were no angels either - why can't we have one on Forrest? HBO, maybe - more freedom of content than the other channels.
 

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There are still a "ton" of people out there in TV viewing land who haven't a clue who Forrest was. This would be a great way to introduce Him to alot of folks. But some of these same people would switch channels when they found out Forrest wasn't PC or "enlightened" like themselves. I myself would love it.
With the political attitude today, as soon as the movie about Forrest was released, the press would vilify him. How sad that our history, good and bad, is slowly being erased.
 
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diane

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With the political attitude today, as soon as the movie about Forrest was released, the press would vilify him. How sad that our history, good and bad, is slowly being erased.
You're probably right about a movie, but there are still some directors who might take it on - Clint Eastwood, for instance. He has box office pull and the critics are generally kind to him...and he's old enough not to care anyway! He's the one director I'd trust to be honest about Forrest...the good, the bad, and the ugly!
 
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Who else thinks that would be a great show if done right?
It would be.
But as others have said, the time for such is long passed.

HBO, maybe
That would be the very last company I would want involved with a television/film production about Forrest.

some directors who might take it on - Clint Eastwood, for instance. He has box office pull and the critics are generally kind to him...and he's old enough not to care anyway! He's the one director I'd trust to be honest about Forrest...the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Absolutely Eastwood !

BTW, I watched his latest movie The Mule, a couple of days ago.
At the age of 89, Clint is still stronger than many actors half his age . . . IMHO.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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With the political attitude today, as soon as the movie about Forrest was released, the press would vilify him. How sad that our history, good and bad, is slowly being erased.
That could be a good thing.

Lots of free advertisement, and for the promoters of the show, they'd be paid to come onto a news show to tell about it.
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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I would be all for it. And the part should be played by Sam Elliott, now if only Shelby Foote were still alive to narrate it.
Yeah I expect Shelby Foote would've been delighted. I don't think Sam Elliot would be a good choice now, 30 years ago, heck yeah, but he's done got to old to play such a role now. I think the best actor to play Forrest would be that Anson Mount fellow that was the main character on Hell on Wheels. I recall reading somewhere he was proud of that role for the characters Confederate background as his GG-Grandaddy rode with Forrest, plus he's from Tennessee himself.
 

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It would be.
But as others have said, the time for such is long passed.
I've been thinking about this, (I know that's rare), and I think I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree on many aspects.

First, if this was done around the time of Gettysburg in the 90's I think it would have been controversial in way to be a complete detriment to such a film because there was so much that went unsaid concerning Forrest. Nowadays, the controversy is already out there, and its so bad folks have tried to dig him up on their own without the City of Memphis, and there is so much unknown, so much buried to the man, because of so much hostile propaganda (I say propaganda due to modern political bias) that while such a film would be controversial, many, many more would watch it because he's so controversial. Which is why I think a mini-series covering his entire life would be great.

Another thing I think that needs to be foremost in people's minds, is how horrible such an endeavor would have been if filmed in the 1960's or 1970's. Literally every aspect would have "Hollywoodized" with no attempt at true history. Props, costumes, all would have been as horribly off as the history would be.

Second, what we have available now in wardrobes, props, set construction, and weapons. The most historically correct uniforms have only become available in the past 10 years, Glory, Gettysburg, and Gods & Generals were horribly off in these areas, (especially Gettysburg). Now, while a bit more costly, this is no problem. Uniforms and other props, that are exact replicas down to the cloth and stitching is available, and set design and construction is way better. Ten of Fifteen years from now, that might not be so.

Third, the Hollywood elite is dying a slow painful death. Thanks to "streaming" platforms, easier access to foreign markets, and Hollywood's incredibly foolish model of doing nothing but remakes, (its called a "built-in market" its believed whether its good or bad it'll make a killing faster than something original), and its all backfiring. For example a director friend of mine, and mentor in the business has sold two budget films he filmed, I've helped, all over the globe with access that would not have been possible ten years ago.

I guess the rules are changing in filmmaking. Now's the time while windows never open before are open now, and Forrest being so controversial, could be a BIG benefit to getting his story out there. Lord knows his life story is one of awesome proportions, coming from nothing, things he regretted, redemption, his life has it all! And thanks to the mass anti-Confederate hysteria, he has big name recognition he didn't have before.

Perhaps I've done to much deep thinking...
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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Okay I've just realized something, in a sales pitch, the case can be made with ease, that a Forrest mini-series would have as much of a built-in market as a Hollywood remake film. Whether folks love him or hate him....

Okay I'm new to the screenwriting business, and busy with four screenplays/scripts, why doesn't someone write this! I know a awesome candidate knowledge wise... @diane
 
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I've been thinking about this, (I know that's rare), and I think I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree on many aspects.

First, if this was done around the time of Gettysburg in the 90's I think it would have been controversial in way to be a complete detriment to such a film because there was so much that went unsaid concerning Forrest. Nowadays, the controversy is already out there, and its so bad folks have tried to dig him up on their own without the City of Memphis, and there is so much unknown, so much buried to the man, because of so much hostile propaganda (I say propaganda due to modern political bias) that while such a film would be controversial, many, many more would watch it because he's so controversial. Which is why I think a mini-series covering his entire life would be great.

Another thing I think that needs to be foremost in people's minds, is how horrible such an endeavor would have been if filmed in the 1960's or 1970's. Literally every aspect would have "Hollywoodized" with no attempt at true history. Props, costumes, all would have been as horribly off as the history would be.

Second, what we have available now in wardrobes, props, set construction, and weapons. The most historically correct uniforms have only become available in the past 10 years, Glory, Gettysburg, and Gods & Generals were horribly off in these areas, (especially Gettysburg). Now, while a bit more costly, this is no problem. Uniforms and other props, that are exact replicas down to the cloth and stitching is available, and set design and construction is way better. Ten of Fifteen years from now, that might not be so.

Third, the Hollywood elite is dying a slow painful death. Thanks to "streaming" platforms, easier access to foreign markets, and Hollywood's incredibly foolish model of doing nothing but remakes, (its called a "built-in market" its believed whether its good or bad it'll make a killing faster than something original), and its all backfiring. For example a director friend of mine, and mentor in the business has sold two budget films he filmed, I've helped, all over the globe with access that would not have been possible ten years ago.

I guess the rules are changing in filmmaking. Now's the time while windows never open before are open now, and Forrest being so controversial, could be a BIG benefit to getting his story out there. Lord knows his life story is one of awesome proportions, coming from nothing, things he regretted, redemption, his life has it all! And thanks to the mass anti-Confederate hysteria, he has big name recognition he didn't have before.

Perhaps I've done to much deep thinking...
I appreciate your thoughts, and you do make some interesting observations.

However, I must stand by original response.

IMO, no mainstream producer would ever think about spending millions of Hollywood dollars about Nathan Bedford Forrest during this day and age.

I honestly hope you're right and I'm wrong, but I just don't see it happening anytime soon.

But on the other hand you may be right.

Forrest's story may be the perfect conduit for various agendas.
But as I don't wish to give "a perception" of modern politics.

I shall leave it at that for now.

:smile coffee:
 

Rusk County Avengers

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I appreciate your thoughts, and you do make some interesting observations.

However, I must stand by original response.

IMO, no mainstream producer would ever think about spending millions of Hollywood dollars about Nathan Bedford Forrest during this day and age.

I honestly hope you're right and I'm wrong, but I just don't see it happening anytime soon.

But on the other hand you may be right.

Forrest's story may be the perfect conduit for various agendas.
But as I don't wish to give "a perception" of modern politics.

I shall leave it at that for now.

:smile coffee:
You may indeed be right and me wrong, I know the one producer/director I know is terrified of controversy as is I suspect the main distributor he used is as well. The western I worked as weapons coordinator, as well as safety for him, the distributor decided the big epic gunfight we put together and filmed was too violent, and he went re-shot it for them without me. All but one and the smallest gunfight was cut from the film and the big epic gunfight replaced with a little girl telling the townspeople fighting is wrong.

And they wonder why the movie has gotten so many horrible reviews...

But I reckon that's why I've been urged to take up writing. I got my own ideas...

Still who makes a western without gunfights! Stupid, stupid move!

EDIT: On producers, they are on board to make money, the right sales pitch could make most mainstream ones go for it I bet.
 
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Polloco

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Yeah I expect Shelby Foote would've been delighted. I don't think Sam Elliot would be a good choice now, 30 years ago, heck yeah, but he's done got to old to play such a role now. I think the best actor to play Forrest would be that Anson Mount fellow that was the main character on Hell on Wheels. I recall reading somewhere he was proud of that role for the characters Confederate background as his GG-Grandaddy rode with Forrest, plus he's from Tennessee himself.
I agree, makeup can only do so much. Sam Elliot is too old for the part. Anson Mount would be a lot better pick.
 

diane

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Okay I've just realized something, in a sales pitch, the case can be made with ease, that a Forrest mini-series would have as much of a built-in market as a Hollywood remake film. Whether folks love him or hate him....

Okay I'm new to the screenwriting business, and busy with four screenplays/scripts, why doesn't someone write this! I know a awesome candidate knowledge wise... @diane
I like to write but screenplays are a genre that's difficult! (I've often thought Forrest is somebody who needs more than a one volume, short biography and has never gotten one.) A great supporting cast, like Spielberg's Lincoln, would be essential. There's something to be said for tackling controversial subjects - it's certainly been done before. It could even have a built-in warning in the title, like That Devil Forrest!

If anybody is afraid of too much violence, I don't suppose they'd be the person to do Forrest. As he said himself, his life was a battle from the start. Surviving typhoid at 10 was the first of many! I thought the three-part series Hatfields and McCoys was well done, and probably had more violence in it than was good to see...however, that was how it really was.
 
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Zella

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EDIT: On producers, they are on board to make money, the right sales pitch could make most mainstream ones go for it I bet.
After the reaction to the proposed Confederate show on HBO, no producer is touching the Civil War, let alone Nathan Bedford Forrest, with a 10-foot pole for awhile. And I say that as someone who would be interested in a Forrest movie or miniseries.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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I like to write but screenplays are a genre that's difficult! (I've often thought Forrest is somebody who needs more than a one volume, short biography and has never gotten one.) A great supporting cast, like Spielberg's Lincoln, would be essential. There's something to be said for tackling controversial subjects - it's certainly been done before. It could even have a built-in warning in the title, like That Devil Forrest!

If anybody is afraid of too much violence, I don't suppose they'd be the person to do Forrest. As he said himself, his life was a battle from the start. Surviving typhoid at 10 was the first of many! I thought the three-part series Hatfields and McCoys was well done, and probably had more violence in it than was good to see...however, that was how it really was.
I can send a PM of the title of the most recommended book in my screenwriting class.
 
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