Tom Hanks, HBO planning Wright Brothers miniseries

If Dayton is known for one thing, it's aviation history, and who better to tell that story on screen than award-winning actor Tom Hanks?

As it turns out, Hanks' production company Playtone and HBO have acquired the rights to a new book by David McCullough -- which releases next month -- to produce a miniseries about the Wright Brothers.

Of course, Dayton has several significant ties to the history of flight. The Wright Brothers grew up and worked in Dayton and perfected controlled piloted flight on nearby Huffman Prairie, which is now part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“We’ve got the movie props and the real thing,” said Tim Gaffney, a spokesman for the National Aviation Heritage Alliance and himself an author on Dayton’s most famous sons. “And of course, Tom Hanks is familiar with the (Dayton) area.”

Gaffney said Thursday morning NAHA had not heard from HBO or Playtone, but he believed Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of the Wright brothers, has been in contact with McCullough, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Hanks is also connected to Wright State through the performing arts program. He performed at the university as a young actor and a WSU graduate helped Hanks produce two Emmy Award-winning television miniseries, the university says.

The actor has also started a scholarship fund at the university, produced videos in support of the school and provided memorabilia and his time to help the school raise money for its performing arts program, WSU has noted.

McCullough’s book, The Wright Brothers, will ship around May 5, according to publisher Simon and Schuster.

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