Tom Hanks and HBO have secured the rights to Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough’s book, The Wright Brothers, for a new miniseries on the life of the famous siblings, according to Deadline.
Tom Hanks’ production company, Playtone, and HBO will tell the story of the Wright Brothers, who made the world’s first 59-second flight on December 17, 1903, at Kittyhawk, North Carolina, a momentous occasion that ushered in the age of aeronautics.
Orville and Wilbur Wright grew up and worked in Dayton, Ohio. Through years of hard work, the siblings perfected controlled piloted flight on nearby Huffman Prairie, which is now part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The Wrights sold and repaired bicycles in their shop to help pay for their dream of flying.
— Dayton Biz Journal (@DBJnews) April 16, 2015
In a phone interview with the Dayton Daily News, David McCullough said he was happy to hear of Tom Hanks’ intention to help tell the story of the Wright Brothers.
“What we ought to know about are the courage and the brilliant ingenuity of those two Americans, the Wright Brothers, and how they changed the world, how they changed history.”
According to WHIO News in Dayton, Tim Gaffney, spokesman for the National Aviation Heritage Alliance in Dayton and an author on the Wright Brothers, hopes Tom Hanks and HBO will consider filming in Dayton.
“We’ve got the movie props and the real thing. And of course, Tom Hanks is familiar with the (Dayton) area.”
Amanda Wright Lane, a great-grandniece of the Wright Brothers, told the Dayton Daily News, she is thrilled with the news.
“I think from a Dayton perspective to have two iconic and successful Americans, in David McCullough and Tom Hanks, working on the Wright Brothers’ story, it just doesn’t get any better. It’s really fantastic.”
Gaffney also noted Tom Hanks’ connection with Dayton. As a young actor, Tom Hanks performed at Wright State University, so named for the Wright Brothers accomplishments.
— Dayton Daily News (@daytondailynews) April 16, 2015
According to WHIO, the university said a WSU graduate helped Hanks produce two Emmy Award-winning television miniseries. Tom Hanks has also started a scholarship fund at Wright State University.
It’s not hard to understand Tom Hanks’ passion for the Wright Brothers and his desire bring their story to the little screen. The Wright Brothers are Dayton’s most cherished sons, and Tom Hanks’ obvious connection to the city has left its mark on the actor and producer.
— Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) April 15, 2015
Wright State University told WHIO that Tom Hanks produced videos in support of the school’s performing arts program and offered memorabilia and his time to help WSU raise funds.
According to publisher Simon and Schuster, David McCullough’s book, The Wright Brothers, will ship around May 5.
Who’s hoping Tom Hanks will also star in the miniseries on the Wright Brothers?
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]