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Tom Hanks, Edward Norton, and Brad Pitt are bringing a Lewis and Clark miniseries to HBO

Tom Hanks, Edward Norton, and Brad Pitt are bringing a Lewis and Clark miniseries to HBO

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HBO has officially greenlit Lewis and Clark, a six-hour miniseries that will chronicle the pair's exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. Starring Casey Affleck as Meriwether Lewis and Matthias Schoenaerts as William Clark, Lewis and Clark has even bigger names serving as executive producers. Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, and Edward Norton are among seven people backing the miniseries. It's based on the book Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose, who also wrote Band of Brothers — another project Hanks famously helped bring to HBO in collaboration with Steven Spielberg.

Production is scheduled to start sometime this summer, but there's no word yet on when it will begin airing on the network. Late last year, it was reported that HBO was putting out casting calls for Montana natives. Casting directors were seeking out people familiar with speaking Native languages including "Shoshone, Nez Perce, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Blackfeet, Chinook, Clatsop, Walla Walla, Sioux and Shawnee." John Curran (The Painted Veil) will be directing the miniseries and sharing writing duties with Michelle Ashford (The Pacific) and Norton. Here's HBO's synopsis of what viewers are in for:

Lewis and Clark tells the story of America’s first contact with the land and native tribes of the country west of the Mississippi River. The miniseries follows the epic journey of the Corps of Discovery and its captains, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who traverse uncharted territory on a mission to deliver President Jefferson’s message of sovereignty as they search for his fabled all-water route to the Pacific. Lewis and Clark focuses not just on their incredible achievements, but also on the physical, spiritual and emotional toll the expedition takes on them.