The hot trend of reanimating dead presidents that has swept our multiplexes, political conventions, and mad scientist labs has inevitably made its way to the network small screen, as NBC announces it's developing a series about the life of George Washington. Barry Levinson, The King's Speech writer David Seidler, Downton Abbey producer Gareth Neame, and Oz co-creator Tom Fontana are among those assembled behind the scenes, bringing their combined knack for biopics, historical dramas, and shows where men are crammed together in tiny spaces to bear on the story of America's first president, using the Ron Chernow book Washington: A Life as their basis. Like that Pulitzer-winning book—and Darren Aronofsky's own recently announced George Washington project—the series aims to reveal Washington's "true character for the first time," looking beyond the established hero's mythology to find the "flawed and troubled" man who was nevertheless allowed to lead, because the 18th century didn't have blogs yet.
It will also find the sharp-dressed man who slept around and engaged in lots of primetime-friendly power struggles: Seidler promises his script will examine the truer, sexier George Washington who "had an adulterous affair with his best friend's wife… the George Washington obsessed with social status, finely tailored clothes, his image," like the American Revolution via Gossip Girl. And it will look beyond the old, familiar-to-schoolchildren George Washington who killed the young cherry tree he was having an affair with after the cherry tree revealed it was pregnant, then tried to cover it up for political reasons. (Though that will probably be in there too.)
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