Tom Hanks and Bill O’Reilly don’t always see eye-to-eye on things. Earlier this year, Hanks narrated an Obama re-election campaign video, a job that O’Reilly quickly dismissed as “career suicide.” Then, when an old home video turned up that captured Hanks at a 2004 private school fundraiser where a parent donned blackface as part of an ill-conceived skit, the Oscar-winning actor apologized to the Fox News personality because he name-checked him as a desperate punchline during the awkward videotaped banter.
But both men share a passion for history, with Hanks a star and producer of huge Hollywood films about World War II and the space race, and O’Reilly the author of a best-selling book about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. And sometimes, that’s enough.
Today, the National Geographic Channel — which is also partially owned by News Corp, the parent of Fox News — announced that the two will team up to turn O’Reilly’s book, Killing Lincoln, in to a two-hour television event. Hanks will host and narrate the movie, which will feature CGI-enhanced historical reenactments (Billy Campbell will portray Lincoln) interspliced with rare historical documents. “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,” Ridley Scott, whose Free Scott Production will executive produce, said in a statement. “His mastery always shines through and we can’t wait for viewers to be engrossed in this story.”
The film is set to air in early 2013.
NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ attacked by Bill O’Reilly: Teen sex and dropped underwear got Bill’s knickers in a twist
Tom Hanks blackface controversy: Conservative group calls for Obama to replace actor as campaign video narrator — VIDEO
Barack Obama’s campaign video: We gotta have more Ken Burns Zoom!