This must be the year of President Lincoln, which is always a good thing considering he was one of our greatest presidents. Picking up where the Steven Spielberg film left off, is the story of Killing Lincoln, a new original movie made for the National Geographic Channel airing Sunday night at 8 p.m.
Produced by Ridley Scott and Tony Scott and narrated on camera by Oscar®-winning actor Tom Hanks, the film stars Billy Campbell (“The Killing,” “Once and Again”) as Lincoln and introduces Jesse Johnson in a breakthrough performance as John Wilkes Booth. The film adapts Bill O’Reilly’s best-selling book into a two-hour global television event.
Additional cast includes Geraldine Hughes as Mary Todd Lincoln, Graham Beckel as Edwin Stanton, who served as secretary of war under the Lincoln administration, and Shawn Pyfrom as Private John W. Nichols. Shot on location in and around Richmond, Va., Killing Lincoln is directed by director Adrian Moat (“Gettysburg”).
Killing Lincoln has all the components of a thrilling crime novel: conspiracy, public assassination, an unprecedented manhunt. This is both an electrifying look at a shadowy scheme cultivated during the rapid-fire succession of closing Civil War events and a wrenching journey to understand a reviled “madman.”
With the North all but assured of victory after four years of war, Southern stalwart John Wilkes Booth is plotting vengeance. He views President Lincoln as a tyrant eager to eradicate not just slavery, but the Southern way of life. He launches a clandestine plot to kidnap the president and spirit him away to the South — an under-the-cover-of-darkness mission that ultimately fails. But out of that failure comes a dastardly new plan: to kill President Lincoln. Booth’s ultimate success in murder would shock a nation and spark the largest manhunt in the country’s young history.
Sandi Berg is also a freelance journalist and writes about television for several magazines including Written By (Writer's Guild of America), Life After 50 and Whole Life Times Magazine.