MAY 4 to hit the big screen

Melissa Dilley

Film based on Canfora memoir

A major motion picture could be filming on Kent State’s campus as early as this spring.

A film based from May 4, 1970 survivor Alan Canfora’s memoir “Ohio” is being adapted into a screenplay.


&bull 1970 – Neil Young writes the song “Ohio.” The lyrics: Tin soldiers and Nixon coming/Were finally on our own/This summer I hear the drumming/Four dead in Ohio/Gotta get down to it/Soldiers are gunning us down/Should have been done long ago/What if you knew her/And found her dead on the ground/How can you run when you know?

&bull 1973 – Peter Davies writes the book “The Truth about Kent State.”

&bull 1974 – Edward Grant and Michael Hill write the book “I was there: what really went on at kent state.”

&bull 1995- William Gordon writes

“Four Dead in ohio.”

&bull 2000 – The Documentary, “Kent state: the war came home” aired on tv.

&bull 2007 – William Gordon writes

“KENT STATE hoax: was there an order to fire?” An excerpt from the article: It was supposed to be audible in a tape recording of the shooting. … And do you know what? Not a single person at the trials reported hearing (“Fire”), which do not even sound like an order any military officer would even give.

The movie, like the memoir, will chronicle the life of Canfora and his childhood friend Bill Caldwell. When Caldwell is killed in Vietnam, the book focuses on Canfora’s activist efforts against the war which ultimately end in the May 4 shootings.

Although “Ohio” is in its early stages, production has not started because Canfora said the memoir is still in need of final edits. However, members of the production crew have been selected.

The casting directors, Suzanne Smith and Jessica Kelly are creating a stir in Hollywood about who they will choose to play lead parts in the movie. Star magazine reported Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron and Rob Pattinson are up for roles, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

Smith has been in charge of casting films such as “Pineapple Express” and “Good Will Hunting,” and the television series “Sex and the City.” Kelly works as an assistant casting director alongside Smith.

Jason Felts will be producing the film with J2 Pictures. The production company is best known for the Jessica Simpson movie “Blonde Ambition” and E’s “Filthy Rich” reality TV show.

Jim Hart, who wrote the screenplay version of popular movies such as “Hook,”

“Laura Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” and “The Last Mimzy,” is close to and working vigorously on the project, said Dana Archer, spokesperson for J2 Pictures.

Canfora said Barbara Kopple will direct the film. Kopple has worked on numerous documentaries and feature films including 2005’s “Havoc” starring Anne Hathaway.

A date has not been set to begin production, but Canfora said he plans on securing a publisher for “Ohio” in the near future.

Contact student politics reporter Melissa Dilley at [email protected].