The History Channel and The People Speak organization, Voices of a People's History of the United States, have entered into a multi-tiered marketing and programming event, it was announced Friday by History's Nancy Dubuc.
As part of the initiative, the network will premiere in 2009 "The People Speak," a film based on the lives and experiences of ordinary Americans who, through their words and actions, changed the course of history.
It will feature dramatic performances by such celebrities as Damon, Brolin, Viggo Mortensen, David Strathairn, Marisa Tomei, Don Cheadle, Jasmine Guy and, Kerry Washington, as well as musical performances by Vedder, Bruce Springsteen and John Legend and archival footage and interviews.
"Together we are bringing forth a national conversation about democracy and the unforgettable, everyday stories that made America," Dubuc said in a statement. "The innovative style and A-list auspices of all those involved, including the passionate commitment of Matt Damon and (co-director) Chris Moore, promise to make this a core initiative hopefully for years to come."
"I am a firm believer in this project, proud to be part of it and proud that we are working jointly with History," Damon added. "The message that is so critical to disseminate is that change doesn't come from the top, but rather from the bottom, and that without everyday citizens pushing to make a difference, there would be no America."