Ron Maxwell’s “Copperhead” Going Into Production This Spring

A political cartoon portrayal of the “Copperheads” from an 1863 newspaper.

EDIT: Click here for the page on this blog devoted entirely to the film.

As if movie news for Civil War buffs could not get any better, we now have some sort of official word from director Ron Maxwell about his upcoming film Copperhead, which will also tackle the same era as his two previous films, Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, although in a completely different manner. Word had come out over the summer in regards to the project (personally, it slipped my mind to ask him about it during our interview at the G & G premiere), but now it appears finally to be coming to fruition. Ron recently conducted a fascinating interview with History Net, and spoke about the film at the end:

We’re going to be filming Copperhead this spring. The original screenplay is by Bill Kauffman, based on the 19th-century novel by Harold Frederic, and I am the producer/director. (Copperhead was originally serialized in Scribner’s Magazine, July–November 1893, before being published in book form; it is sometimes called a novella.—Editor) It’s a very dramatically intense story set in New York State in 1862 and 1863 and it’s about the price of dissent, the cost of dissent. As the title indicates, “Copperhead” was the extremely derisive term used to insult those Northerners who were opposed to the war. It was a big movement in the North. They wanted to end the war, and this film explores the anti-war movement in the North through the conflict of one family in one town. It’s a work of fiction, but it’s based on real events. I think it will explore ground that has not been explored at all in cinema (even though there have been movies about pacifists in the Civil War) these people were politically opposed to war, so I think we are moving into new ground here. That’s interesting for me because I wanted to be challenged in an area in which I had not worked before. I think it will be new ground for the audience. We’re very excited about this. We expect to have it in theaters either late 2012 or early 2013.

This is definitely exciting news from a director that most fans wish had more movies coming out. Since Gettysburg’s release in 1993, Maxwell has put out only one other film, which was the prequel, Gods and Generals. He has since narrated Civil War related documentaries such as Lincoln and Lee at Antietam and Horses of Gettysburg. Hopefully, I will be able to get some more information as production nears. I spoke to Ron via email this morning, and as of right now, this is all that can be made public.

2 thoughts on “Ron Maxwell’s “Copperhead” Going Into Production This Spring

  1. Pingback: The Copperhead Chronicles: Casting Call Open « From New York to San Francisco

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