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Ed Harris to play John McCain in 'Game Change'

HBO Wednesday night announced that Ed Harris will play Sen. John McCain in the made-for-TV movie, "Game Change," to be filmed in Maryland starting this month.

This is the second major piece of casting along with Julianne Moore who will play Sarah Palin in this story of the 2008 presidential campaign based on the best selling book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. The HBO production is expected to provide jobs for 160 crew members and as many as 1,800 local actors and extras.

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Ed Harris has filmed in the Baltimore and Maryland areas before when he appeared in Clint Eastwood's 2002 feature film, "Absolute Power."

(Photo courtesy of HBO)

The film, which narrows the focus of the Halperin-Heilemann book to the McCain-Palin campaign, will be filming "in and around Baltimore" for a period of time ranging from one to two months, Len Amato, the president of HBO Films, told the Sun. Read that interview here.

While Amato did not set a date for production to start, the expectation is that filming will begin the last week of April.

Amato stressed that HBO was looking for "great actors" and "not imitators" in casting the major roles on this made-for-TV version of an outstanding non-fiction book that is sure to be a significant historical document on the 2008 election in years to come. In the meantime, it's a great read about what went on backstage during that election season.

There has already been much buzz about the Moore-Palin casting. At this point, the one thing that can be said with certainty about Harris and Moore is that HBO has signed two superb actors.

Read more about Harris and his career here.

Here's the HBO release:

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