Matthew Perry has joined one of America’s most famous families.
The former Friends star will portray Ted Kennedy in The Kennedys — After Camelot, a Reelz miniseries that serves as a follow-up to the controversial The Kennedys. Katie Holmes reprises her role as Jackie Kennedy Onassis.
Based on After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family 1968 to the Present by J. Randy Taraborrelli, the show will track the lives of the Kennedys after the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert “Bobby” Kennedy.
After the deaths of his brothers, Ted continued serving as U.S. Senator until his death in 2009. In 1969, he was involved in the infamous Chappaquiddick incident: Kennedy drove his car into a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. He eventually swam to shore, leaving the car and his 28-year-old colleague, Mary Jo Kopechne, who drowned. Kennedy ultimately pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the crash after causing injury.
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“We are privileged to have an actor of Matthew Perry’s stature and ability take on the role of such a complex and controversial figure as Ted Kennedy,” said Muse Entertainment president Michael Prupas in a statement. “Matthew Perry and Katie Holmes will fascinate audiences around the world as they bring these two famous Americans to life.”
The original 2011 series had been set to be distributed by History before it was picked up by Reelz. “We have concluded this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand,” the channel announced in 2011. Greg Kinnear played John F. Kennedy, while Barry Pepper assumed the role of Robert.
Perry, Holmes, Prupas, and Intuition Productions’ Keri Selig serve as executive producers. Holmes and Jon Cassar (The Kennedys) are directing from scripts by Stephen Kronish (The Kennedys) and Sandra Chwialkowska (Lost Girl).
Filming for the project begins in Toronto this May. The miniseries is pegged for a spring 2017 debut.