Billy Campbell Racking Up Civil War Roles; To Play Honest Abe in “Killing Lincoln”

Billy Campbell on the set of “Copperhead”.

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.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. That does give some hope to the project. Still, considering the only thing Ridley and Tony Scott did well with “Crappysburg” was in the opening battle still gives me pause. And based on this picture Mr. Campbell put on Instagram, he definitely looks the part of Lincoln:

    View this post on Instagram

    Captain Ahab, or Abe Lincoln?

    A post shared by Ollie Campbell (@ollie_campbell) on

    1. Wow, he does certainly look like the real Lincoln. He may be the saving grace of this whole thing.

      1. He’s a good actor, so he might just pull Lincoln off. Of course, we can also expect that most of his dialogue will be drowned out by narration. Hopefully, a few of his lines will be heard.

        Any word on who the choice is to narrate the doc? Hope it’s not Sam Rockwell again. Felt his narration for “Crappysburg” was poorly written, and poorly recited. I’d personally get either Laurence Fishburne, Stephen Lang (Lincoln narrating a Lincoln doc :P), or Morgan Freeman (Who doesn’t like to hear Morgan Freeman speak?).

      2. As far as I know, Mike Rowe (a favorite of mine from DIRTY JOBS) is going to narrate.

  2. Mike Rowe is a good choice. “On this episode of ‘Ghost Hunters’…”

    1. He narrates that? I never knew…

      1. Yup. I know it’s a “Mike Rowe,” and it does sound like him, only with his voice lowered.

      2. I never realized that. Not that I watch the show often, but I’m a big fan of his. Guess I should have known.

  3. Billy Campbell prior to becoming an actor was actually involved in re-enactments of civil war battles. Another cool factoid is he is very proficient at horseback riding as demonstrated on “Copperhead”. He is a very down to earth guy and was great to interview for BTS Copperhead video!

    1. More news to me! That’s definitely refreshing to hear! Still looking forward to that last Copperhead BTS video!

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