For better or for worse, we are going to be tracking the progress of Ridley and Tony Scott’s National Geographic documentary that is currently in pre-production and slated to air next year. I have had people tell me it is a project worth covering, and people tell me that it is a waste of time because of how inaccurate the source book, Killing Lincoln, is, and due to the author being Bill O’Reilly. While I acknowledge both of those items, I have had a chance to see the working script and also have two connections to the cast and crew, and because I have immense respect for both of those people, I am going to devote some time to this in the hopes that the film will be better than the book.
With casting currently underway, actor Billy Campbell has been chosen to take on the role of Abraham Lincoln, fresh after completing filming in Copperhead, another Civil War film which I have been following both on this blog and in working for their official website. Whether or not Campbell has a genuine interest in the Civil War or if it is just a coincidence, his casting definitely lends some credibility, because Campbell has also appeared in Ron Maxwell’s epics Gettysburg and Gods and Generals in addition to the above mentioned Copperhead. Should he remain signed on to the cast of Killing Lincoln as it begins filming, could it be that he has appeared in more major Civil War films than any other actor? Quite possibly, if we do not take into account all those lower budget, straight-to-DVD films that pop up in gift shops and museums.
The makers of History’s Gettysburg have not given us much to be excited about. In fact, the mere thought of this project has some folks scared. However, it is nice to see a familiar face in the cast, something that makes the pill a little easier to swallow.