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which will feature CGI-enhanced historical reenactments (Billy Campbell will portray Lincoln) interspliced with rare historical documents.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.