National Geographic Channel Announces That Tom Hanks Joins the Scott Free Production of 'Killing Lincoln'

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

September 13th, 2012

via press release:




Academy Award® Winner Hanks to be the On-Camera Narrator,

Providing Historical Context and Perspective to this

Fresh Telling of Iconic Moment in American History


Film to Premiere Globally on National Geographic Channel in Early 2013


(WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 13, 2012) National Geographic Channel President Howard T. Owens announced today that actor, producer, writer and director Tom Hanks is joining the two-hour television event Killing Lincoln from executive producers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Productions.


Hanks, a two-time Oscar® winner known for his roles in Saving Private Ryan, Forest Gump, Apollo 13, The Green Mile, and The Da Vinci Code, among many others, will serve as the on-camera host, historical commentator and narrator.

Hanks joins director Adrian Moat (Gettysburg), Emmy Award-winning writer/Executive Producer Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers) and producer Mark Herzog's Herzog & Co. (Gettysburg) on the film, which is based on Bill O’Reilly’s New York Times best-selling book Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever written with co-author Martin Dugard.

Production on the historical thriller combines the stunning drama with CGI, in the signature style of the Scott brothers, with rare historical archives.  Actor Billy Campbell plays Abraham Lincoln, actor Jesse Johnson plays John Wilkes Booth in the film which also stars Geraldine Hughes as Mary Todd Lincoln.  Graham Beckel appears as Edwin Stanton (who served as secretary of war under the Lincoln administration) and Shawn Pyfrom portrays Private John W. Nichols.


“It's odd to say the killing of Abraham Lincoln is an unknown story, but it may as well be,” said Hanks.  “The depth of the intrigue, the breadth of the conspiracy and the bare-naked exposure of human nature is so timeless, it's a wonder how that seminal tragedy in our history could ever be explained in a few sentences: ‘Ford's Theater… John Wilkes Booth,’ etc.  The murder of Lincoln is not a passage of our history — it was a signpost of our American character, then, now and forever.”


“Having someone like Tom who is so passionate about history and such an incredible storyteller join National Geographic Channel on this project will add even more energy and gravitas to this epic historical moment being retold for contemporary audiences,” said Owens.  “


“Only Hanks can add that unique poise, intrigue and dynamism that are his trademark to a film about one of the most significant, life-changing events in America’s young history,” added Ridley Scott.  “His mastery always shines through and we can’t wait for viewers to be engrossed in this story.”


The film is set to air globally on NGC in early 2013 in 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages.


Killing Lincoln is being produced by Scott Free Productions and Herzog & Co. for National Geographic Channel.  Executive producers are Ridley Scott and Tony Scott, along with Bill O’Reilly, David Zucker, Mary Lisio, Mark Herzog, Erik Jendresen (also credited as writer) and Teri Weinberg.  Producer for the project is Christopher Cowen of Herzog & Co., the director is Adrian Moat, who also produces.  For NGC, president is Howard T. Owens, executive producer is Richard Wells, vice president of production and development is Charlie Parsons and executive vice president of programming is Michael Cascio.


# # #

  • Nitish Singh

    Unfortunately, since I’m too lazy / lame to read Bill’s book, the phrase “I’ll wait for the movie” actually applies

  • Neil

    The National Geographic Channel + SCOTT FREE unlike NBC can afford Tom Hanks.

  • City Kitty

    This is disgusting – such a wrong minded progressive being associated with Bill’s excellent book. PUKE

  • VACastleFan

    I just finished the book last week and thought it was fantastic. Honestly, I’m surprised and impressed that Tom Hanks rose above politics and the fact that the book was written by O’Reilly to support the project for the interesting piece of historical commentary that it is. One of the best things about the book is that there really didnt seem to be a political bias/flavor to it at all…..I think you could have taken the author’s name off the book and given it to the staunchest liberal to read and they would enjoy it. Sadly, because O’Reilly wrote it, there are probably a significant number of folks who will never read it for just that reason–and they are missing out.

    For anyone considering reading the book–do it. It’s an easy and fairly fast read and it engages the audience. I particularly enjoyed the first sections of the book that revisit the siege on Petersburg and the drawdown of the war.

  • bill

    @ city kitty – you couldn’t be more CORRECT. Have lost so much respect for him…another Hollywood opportunist.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures