History Orders 8 Hour Mini-Series Chronicling Birth Of The Texas Rangers

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History has picked up Texas Rising, an 8 hour miniseries about the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. The mini, which is from the team behind Hatfields & McCoys and features an all star cast led by Bill Paxton, is set to air on History in 2015.

Texas Rising (working title) is set in Texas in 1836. Crushed from the outside by Mexican armadas and attacked from within by ferocious Comanche tribes, no one was safe. But this was a time of bravery, a time to die for what you believed in and a time to stand tall against the cruel rule of the Mexican General Santa Anna. From General Sam Houston, to rag tag Rangers to the legendary “Yellow Rose of Texas” – this is a story of the human spirit rising in the face of insurmountable odds and claiming a piece of history for all eternity. The 8 hour mini is being produced by Thinkfactory Media, A+E Studios and ITV Studios America with Leslie Greif serving as the executive producer. The Killing Fields helmer Roland Joffé is attached to direct.

Bill Paxton (Hatfields & McCoys) is leading the cast as Sam Houston, the father of Texas. Other cast members include Brendan Fraser (The Mummy) as Billy Anderson, a Texas Ranger with Comanche Indian ties; Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) as Lorca, an Alamo survivor seeking brutal revenge; Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Magic City) as Deaf” Smith, a deaf and grizzled veteran Texas Ranger with an advanced case of consumption; Thomas Jane (Hung) as James Wykoff, a homesteader who finds himself living in the middle of hostile Indian territory; Olivier Martinez (Before Night Falls) as President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the tyrant dictator of Mexico;  Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill) as Mirabeau Lamar, a spirited Texas soldier who helps win the battle of San Jacinto; Michael Rapaport (Boston Public) as Sgt. Ephraim Knowles, a would-be deserter and coward turned hero; and Max Thieriot (Bates Motel) as Jack Hays, a volunteer freedom fighter who becomes the youngest Texas Ranger.

“From Hatfields & McCoys to The Bible to Vikings, History has made a major commitment to high-quality scripted historical dramas,” said Dirk Hoogstra, Executive Vice President and General Manager of HISTORY & H2, “The Texas Revolution is one of the most gut-wrenching and inspirational events in our history. Doing the story justice will be a massive undertaking and we’re excited to begin production with one of the best teams in the business.”

While executive producer Leslie Greif added: “It’s exciting to be back working with History and Bill Paxton, a team that made television history with Hatfields & McCoys. The battle for Texas independence was epic and really the battle for the future of America. We have Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated talent, a stellar ensemble cast is being set, and with this team, we will seek to even further redefine and elevate the term ‘event television.’”