via press release:
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL ANNOUNCES CAST OF
FOUR-HOUR MOVIE EVENT SAINTS & STRANGERS
Saints & Strangers, Directed by Paul Edwards and Produced by
Sony Pictures Television With Little Engine Productions,
Set to Begin Principal Photography This July in South Africa
Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect”) as Dorothy Bradford
Michael Jibson (“Hatfields & McCoys”) as Myles Standish
Vincent Kartheiser (“Mad Men”) as William Bradford
Ron Livingston (“Band of Brothers”) as John Carver
Natascha McElhone (“Californication”) as Elizabeth Hopkins
Tatanka Means (“Banshee”) as Hobbamock
Brían F. O’Byrne (“Aquarius”) as John Billington
Kalani Queypo (“The New World”) as Squanto
Barry Sloane (“Revenge”) as Edward Winslow
Ray Stevenson (“Divergent”) as Stephen Hopkins
Raoul Trujillo (“Apocalypto”) as Massasoit
(WASHINGTON, DC – July 6, 2015) National Geographic Channel (@NatGeoChannel) today announced the cast of the upcoming four-hour television movie event Saints & Strangers, directed by Paul Edwards and produced by Sony Pictures Television with Little Engine Productions.
The “saints” aboard the Mayflower were religious separatists who abandoned their prior lives for religious freedom and an opportunity to create a new social order built on their values.
<Vincent Kartheiser (“Mad Men”) plays William Bradford, the colony’s moral compass who would eventually serve as long-time governor of Plymouth Colony.
Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect,” “True Blood”) is Dorothy Bradford, his wife, still haunted by their decision to leave their three-year-old son behind for the journey to the New World.
Ron Livingston (“Band of Brothers”) stars as John Carver, the initial leader of the Pilgrims and the first governor of the Plymouth Colony.
Barry Sloane (“Revenge”) plays Plymouth leader Edward Winslow who would serve as a diplomat to the nearby Pokanoket tribe and their leader Massasoit.
Michael Jibson (“Hatfields & McCoys”) is Myles Standish who, though not a separatist himself, was hired as the colony’s military adviser.
The “strangers” were those Mayflower passengers who were seeking adventure and financial opportunity, not religious freedom.
Ray Stevenson (“Divergent”) stars as Stephen Hopkins, a leader of the strangers — albeit one with a checkered past — and the only Mayflower passenger who had previously been to the New World.
Natascha McElhone (“Californication”) is his wife, Elizabeth Hopkins, who gives birth to their second child aboard the Mayflower and is one of only four women to survive to the first Thanksgiving.
<!Brían F. O’Byrne (“Aquarius”) is John Billington, an antagonistic patriarch of a family known for troublemaking.
The Native Americans
The Mayflower passengers were far from the first settlers on New England, preceded by a number of Native American tribes confronted with their own political turmoil long before the arrival of the Europeans.
<!Raoul Trujillo (“Apocalypto”) plays Massasoit, the sachem — or leader — of the Pokanoket tribe. Plague has decimated the Pokanoket population, leaving Massasoit uncertain of how to deal with the arrival of the new settlers.
Tatanka Means (“Banshee”) plays Hobbamock, one of Massasoit’s men and a Pniese — an elite warrior thought to be unkillable in battle.
Kalani Queypo (“The New World”) is Squanto, a former captive and slave of English explorers, who has crossed the Atlantic four times and acts as a translator and negotiator between Massasoit and the governors of the Plymouth Colony.
“I am incredibly excited by the talented ensemble that we have assembled for this movie,” said Tim Pastore, NGC’s president of original programming and production. “Under Paul’s direction, and with the powerful script we have from Eric Overmyer and Seth Fisher, I cannot wait to see what this cast can do.”
“We are delighted that our epic historical adventure will come to life with an amazing cast of brilliant actors,” said Helen Verno, executive vice president, movies and miniseries, Sony Pictures Television.
Saints & Strangers is a story that goes beyond the familiar historical account of Thanksgiving, revealing the trials and tribulations of the first settlers at Plymouth: 101 men, women and children who sailed on a chartered ship for a place they had ever seen. Of this group, half were those we know as “Pilgrims,” religious separatists who abandoned their prior lives for a single cause: religious freedom. The other, the “adventurers,” were motivated by real-world material objectives as opposed to spiritual ideas. This clash of values created complex inner struggles for the group as they sought to establish new individual identities and a new colony, compounded by a complicated relationship with the Native Americans. The settlers’ willingness to take risks, adapt and persevere despite the odds continues to define the American spirit to this day.
Saints & Strangers will be produced for National Geographic Channels US by Sony Pictures Television. For Little Engine Productions, executive producers are Grant Scharbo and Gina Matthews, Teri Weinberg is executive producer, Eric Overmyer is executive producer/writer, and Seth Fisher is writer. The original script was written by Chip Johannessen, with revisions by Walon Green. For Sony Pictures Television, executive vice president of movies and limited series is Helen Verno. For National Geographic Channels, president of original programming and production is Tim Pastore; vice president of production is Matt Renner.
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National Geographic Channels
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation’s major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in more than 90 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 432 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit .
Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television (http://www.sonypicturestelevision.com), a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, is one of the television industry’s leading content providers, producing and distributing programming worldwide in every genre and for every platform. In addition to one of the industry’s largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) boasts a current program slate that includes top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series, and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. In addition to its U.S. production business, SPT has 19 wholly owned or joint venture production companies in 13 countries and also maintains offices in 31 countries. SPT’s worldwide television networks portfolio includes 150 channel feeds available in 178 countries, reaching more than 1.3 billion cumulative households worldwide. SPT also creates original content for and manages the studio’s premium video website, Crackle. Additionally, SPT owns U.S. production company Embassy Row and is a part owner of the cable channel Game Show Network (GSN). SPT advertiser sales is one of the premier national advertising sales companies and handles the commercial inventory in SPT’s syndicated series as well as in the Rural Media Group and DoctorOZ.com.
Little Engine Productions
Little Engine Productions is a Los Angeles-based production company and studio dedicated to the development, financing and production of high-end television and feature films. Headed by the Emmy Award-winning husband and wife team of Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo, Little Engine, founded in 2007, has produced over 100 hours of network television, most recently the USA drama “Rush,” written and directed by filmmaker Jonathan Levine, and the ABC thriller “Missing,” starring Ashley Judd (for which she received an Emmy nomination). They have also produced a number of hit films, including “What Women Want,” starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, and “13 Going on 30,” starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo.
Matthews and Scharbo are known for their hands-on approach to the creative process, as well as their high-end talent and film and network contacts. In addition to continued work within the studio system, Little Engine recently secured financing from Toronto-based Aver Media and The Bank of Montreal, allowing them to function as a studio in the straight-to-series television model. They will distribute their content through Sony Distribution.
Also, as EU passport holders, Matthews and Scharbo are uniquely positioned to take full advantage of the lucrative international tax credits, subsidies and treaties available, as well as higher EU content license fees. As a result, they can produce high-end content at a lower deficit, and put their creative partners closer to back-end participation.
Other notable television projects from Little Engine include: ABC’s straight-to-series “The Gates,” starring Frank Grillo and Rhona Mitra; the WB series “The Mountain,” with Oliver Hudson; the sci-fi drama “Jake 2.0” for UPN; the WB hit series “Popular,” starring Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope; and “The Chronicle” for the SyFy Network.
Little Engine currently has a number of high-profile TV projects in the works, including “Shadows,” a co-venture with Sony for ABC; “Wasteland,” a co-venture with Sony for NBC; and the four-hour miniseries Saints & Strangers, which they will begin production on this summer for National Geographic Channel and Sony.