WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--National Geographic today announced the cast for the global scripted event series based on Martha Raddatz’s New York Times best-seller The Long Road Home. Two-time Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kelly (“House of Cards,” “Taboo”) has been cast as Lt. Col. Gary Volesky, the battalion commander who leads a daring rescue operation when the 1st Cavalry Division comes under attack by Iraqi insurgents. Emmy-nominated actor Jason Ritter (“Parenthood,” “Girls”) has been cast as Capt. Troy Denomy, who leads the rescue convoys into the city following the dramatic ambush of a 1st Cavalry Division Platoon and is a devoted family man with a wife and newborn son. E.J. Bonilla (“Unforgettable”) portrays Lt. Shane Aguero, leader of the ambushed men. Kate Bosworth (“Blue Crush,” “SS-GB,” “The Art of More”) has been cast as Capt. Denomy’s wife, Gina. Sarah Wayne Callies (“Prison Break,” “The Walking Dead,” “Colony”) has been cast as LeAnn Volesky, wife of Lt. Col. Volesky and a leader in the family readiness community. Noel Fisher (“Shameless”) has been cast as Pfc. Tomas Young, the heroic 24-year-old soldier and later peace activist who is severely wounded in this battle. And actor Jeremy Sisto (“Suburgatory,” “Law & Order,” “Six Feet Under”) will take on the role of Staff Sgt. Robert Miltenberger, a career soldier on the cusp of retirement who has been stop-lossed for this deployment. Production begins this month at Fort Hood, Texas, and will air later this year on National Geographic in 171 countries and 45 languages.
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.”
On the director front, just announced are Emmy-winners Phil Abraham (“Daredevil,” “Mad Men,” “Orange Is the New Black”) and Mikael Salomon (“SIX,” “Band of Brothers”). Abraham and Salomon will join the creative team of executive producers Mike Medavoy, Jason Clark, Mikko Alanne, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn. Alanne (“The 33”) adapted the book for television and will serve as showrunner.
Rounding out the cast are Emmy-nominated Jon Beavers (“NCIS,” “Gotham,” “The Fresh Beat Band”) as Sgt. Eric Bourquin, Jorge Diaz (“Jane the Virgin,” “The 33”) as Spc. Israel Garza, Ian Quinlan (“Gotham”) as Spc. Robert Arsiaga, Darius Homayoun (“Tyrant”) as the interpreter Jassim al-Lani and Patrick Schwarzenegger (“Stuck in Love”) as Sgt. Ben Hayhurst.
Over eight episodes, The Long Road Home will relive a heroic fight for survival during the Iraq War, when the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood was ferociously ambushed on April 4, 2004, in Sadr City, Baghdad — a day that came to be known in military annals as “Black Sunday.” The event series will cut between the action on the ground in Iraq and that of the homefront back in Texas, where wives and families await news for 48 hellish hours, expecting the worst. The incident, which took place 11 months after President George W. Bush’s famous “Mission Accomplished” speech, changed the American military’s view of Iraq from a peacekeeping mission to a fight against domestic insurgents.
“The Long Road Home is an extraordinary story of war, dramatizing not just the heroism and sacrifice on the front lines but the family bonds and courage on the homefront,” said Carolyn G. Bernstein, executive vice president and head of global scripted development and production, National Geographic. “We are thrilled to have such a strong, talented cast on board to portray the real-life heroes — the courageous soldiers and their equally courageous families — who sacrificed so much for our country.”
“When I read The Long Road Home, it reminded me of past films I had been involved with, namely ‘Coming Home’ and ‘Platoon,’ both of which dealt with the brutality of war — before, during and after,” said Mike Medavoy, executive producer, Phoenix Pictures. “I’m excited to be doing this with such a talented group of people and National Geographic.”
The Long Road Home is based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Martha Raddatz and has been adapted by screenwriter Mikko Alanne. The series will be executive produced by Mike Medavoy, Jason Clark, Mikko Alanne, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn. For National Geographic, Carolyn G. Bernstein is executive vice president and head of global scripted development and production.
About Michael Kelly:
With an expansive list of film and television credits spanning more than 20 years, Michael Kelly can currently be seen in his two-time Emmy-nominated role of Doug Stamper, the House Majority Whip’s formidable and crafty aide-de-camp, in David Fincher’s Netflix original series “House of Cards.” Recently, Kelly starred in BBC’s limited series “Taboo” opposite Tom Hardy. He also starred in “The Secret in Their Eyes” opposite Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor and in “Everest” opposite Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal and Robin Wright. Additional film credits include Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling”; Louis Leterrier’s “Now You See Me”; Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel”; the hit film “Chronicle”; George Nolfi’s “The Adjustment Bureau”; Doug Liman’s “Fair Game”; F. Gary Gray’s “Law Abiding Citizen”; “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker; “Defendor” with Woody Harrelson; “Invincible” opposite Mark Wahlberg; “Dawn of the Dead” directed by Zach Snyder; “Tenderness” starring Russell Crowe; “The Narrows” directed by Francois Velle; “Broken English” written and directed by Zoe Cassavetes; “Loggerheads”; M. Night Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable”; Milos Forman’s “Man on the Moon”; and “River Red” (Sundance Film Festival). Additional television credits include the HBO miniseries “Generation Kill”; recurring roles on the hit shows “The Good Wife” and “Person of Interest”; series regular roles on “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Fringe”; and a recurring role on “The Sopranos.” A lifetime member of The Actor’s Studio, Kelly has performed in such plays as Arthur Penn’s production of “Major Crimes” and Theatre Studio’s “Miss Julie” as well as in a production of “In Search of Strindberg” staged in Stockholm, Sweden. Kelly is represented by Liebman Entertainment and Schreck Rose Dapello.
About Jason Ritter:
A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Ritter starred on NBC’s critically acclaimed “Parenthood” as Lauren Graham’s character’s love interest. This role earned him an Emmy nomination. He can currently be seen on Amazon’s “Goliath.” He was most recently seen on Comedy Central’s “Another Period” and “Drunk History,” HBO’s “Girls” and Disney’s “Gravity Falls.” His recent film credits include “Bitch,” which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; “Carrie Pilby”; “The Intervention”; “Embers”; and “The Meddler,” with Susan Sarandon and Rose Byrne. Ritter’s other television credits include series regular roles on “The Event,” “The Class” and “Joan of Arcadia.” His other film credits include “We’ll Never Have Paris,” “Seven Minutes,” “Hits,” “You’re Not You,” “Good Dick,” “Wild Canaries,” “The Education of Charles Banks,” “Our Very Own,” “Happy Endings” and “Raise Your Voice.” Additionally, Ritter portrayed the roles of Colin and Ethan in the play “The City of Conversation,” for which he was nominated for an LA Theater Award. Previously, Ritter played Charles in the Atlantic Theater Company’s production of “Ghost Stories: The Shawl & Prairie Du Chien,” a collection of short plays written by David Mamet. Ritter is represented by ICM Partners and the Burstein Company.
About E.J. Bonilla:
Captivating audiences for his versatile performances in television and film, E.J. Bonilla continues to prove why industry professionals and audiences can’t get enough of this actor on the rise. His first full-length feature, the 2009 Sundance Film Festival favorite “Don’t Let Me Drown,” was nominated for the Grand Jury award at Sundance and won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival. Continuing his momentum, Bonilla starred in the coming-of-age drama “Mamitas,” which earned him an Imagen Award nomination for Best Actor. He received an additional Imagen Award nomination for Joshua Sanchez's directorial debut, “Four.” Bonilla also starred in the romantic tale “Musical Chairs” (by Susan Seidelman) and most recently played the title character in the Bronx-based crime indie, “The House That Jack Built.” In addition to his film work, Bonilla has had a hot streak on television. He was last seen as a series regular on the fourth season of A&E’s “Unforgettable” and is perhaps best known for his recurring role as Nolan Ross on the ABC series “Revenge.” Additional television credits include “Madam Secretary,” “Bored to Death,” “Cold Case,” “The Big C,” “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Shameless” and a recurring role on TV Land’s hit series “Younger.” He also earned a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Young Actor in a Drama Series for his role on CBS’s “Guiding Light.” Bonilla is represented by Innovative Artists and MKSD Talent Management.
About Kate Bosworth:
Kate Bosworth has made the seamless transition from a young Hollywood starlet to one of today’s leading ladies. She played the iconic Lois Lane in “Superman Returns” (Warner Bros.) for director Bryan Singer and graced the screen in Kevin Spacey’s “Beyond the Sea,” where she portrayed screen icon Sandra Dee opposite Spacey’s Bobby Darin. Bosworth received rave reviews from critics, and Dee herself gave a nod of approval for the actress’s portrayal as the ultimate golden girl. Bosworth is currently starring with Sam Riley in the television period drama “SS-GB” on BBC ONE, which airs Sunday nights at 9 pm in the U.K. Recently, she appeared in season 2 of “The Art of More” for Sony/Crackle with Dennis Quaid, which was released in the fall of 2016. On the big screen, she starred in the critically acclaimed drama “Still Alice” with Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival before its wide release. She also starred in Michael Polish’s psychological thriller “Amnesiac” and his faith-based film “90 Minutes in Heaven” and shot the action/drama “Life on the Line” with John Travolta. Most recognized for her strong-willed performance in John Stockwell’s hugely successful “Blue Crush,” Bosworth landed that first lead role after dedicating herself to a crash course in surfing. Bosworth is represented by CAA and Management 360.
About Sarah Wayne Callies:
Sarah Wayne Callies has made an indelible impression on audiences worldwide by portraying complex and unique women. Most notably, she starred as Lori Grimes in AMC’s critically acclaimed series “The Walking Dead” and as Dr. Sara Trancedi in Fox’s international hit drama “Prison Break.” Callies will reprise her role as Dr. Tancredi when the highly anticipated drama series returns in 2017. Callies also co-stars in USA’s drama series “Colony,” playing Katie Bowman opposite Josh Holloway; the second season premiered in January 2017. On the feature side, Callies’ credits include “This Is Your Death,” alongside Josh Duhamel and Giancarlo Esposito, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2017; “Pay the Ghost,” directed by Uli Edel and starring Nicholas Cage; “The Other Side of the Door,” written and directed by Johannes Roberts; “Into the Storm,” directed by Steven Quale; “Black November,” with Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke, Anne Heche, Akon and Wyclef Jean; “Whisper” with Joel Edgerton; and Benoit Phillipon’s “Lullaby for Pi,” in which she composed and performed an original song in addition to acting opposite Rupert Friend. In 2013 Callies returned to her stage roots, starring opposite Finn Whitrock in the Kennedy Center's production of “The Guardsman” in a new translation by Richard Nelson and directed by Gregory Mosher. Callies is represented by ICM Partners and More/Medavoy Management.
About Noel Fisher:
Noel Fisher has become one of the entertainment industry’s most sought-after and versatile performers, bringing to life memorable characters on the big and small screens over the past few years. Fisher’s film and television credits include starring as Michelangelo in Paramount Pictures’ summer hit “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”; playing Mickey Milkovich opposite William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum on the critically acclaimed Showtime series “Shameless”; and portraying Vladimir in the ﬁnal chapter of the worldwide phenomenon “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.” Additional credits include History Channel’s miniseries “Hatﬁelds & McCoys”; the blockbuster film “Battle: Los Angeles,” with Aaron Eckhart; CBS’ “Two and a Half Men,” “The Mentalist” and “Medium;” recurring roles on NBC’s “Law and Order: SVU,” Showtime’s “Huff” and FOX’s “Bones”; the Sundance ﬁlm “RED” (Ofﬁcial Selection); and the HBO miniseries “The Paciﬁc.” Audiences may best remember Fisher from his breakout performance in the critically acclaimed FX series “The Riches,” portraying Cal, the conniving and clever son of Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver. Fisher is represented by United Talent Agency, Industry Entertainment and attorney Marcy Morris.
About Jeremy Sisto:
Jeremy Sisto currently stars in the Vince Gerardis/Antoine Fuqua series “ICE” for DirecTV, directed by Robert Munich. Sisto is probably best known for playing Billy Chenowith on Alan Ball’s “Six Feet Under” for five years, a role that Ball wrote for him. He was recently seen on ABC’s “Wicked City” opposite Erika Christensen and Ed Westwick. He also recently finished a three-year run on “Law & Order” as Detective Cyrus Lupo. Sisto was the lead in the short-lived but critically acclaimed Jason Smilovic show “Kidnapped.” He played the title role in the two mini-series “Jesus” and “Julius Caesar” and recently finished his run starring on the single-camera ABC comedy “Suburgatory.” He was very recently on screen starring in A&E’s new drama “The Returned,” created by Carlton Cuse and based on the hit French series “Les Revenants.” Sisto is represented by Gersh and MGMT Entertainment.
About National Geographic Partners LLC:
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 128 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Fuzzy Door Productions:
Led by multi-hyphenate, Seth MacFarlane, Fuzzy Door Productions is the production company behind many of today’s most successful film and television projects. Jason Clark serves as President of Fuzzy Door Productions and oversees all areas of development and production for their film and television slate. Fuzzy Door is currently in production on Fox's highly anticipated science fiction comedic drama, “Orville." The company launched with the beloved animated television show “Family Guy" and went on to produce numerous shows including "American Dad!," and “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.” On the film side, Fuzzy Door has produced TED, TED 2 and A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST.