In case you were wondering, no, that headline does not mean that Tom Hanks has agreed to a secret, surprise cameo in his pal Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln as John Wilkes Booth. Don’t expect to see him leaping up, shouting “Sic semper tyrannis!” and shooting Daniel Day-Lewis in the noggin. Instead, he’s agreed to an equally surprising take on the 16th president’s story, a new drama documentary for the National Geographic channel.
That Hanks has taken a historical narration job isn’t a surprise – he’s often narrated shows before – but this comes based on conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly’s best seller (co-written with Martin Dugard) and charts the 'conspiracy' behind the assassination. Hanks and O'Reilly don't exactly see eye to eye on politics, and they've had issues in the past.
The tome is being brought to the screen by Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, and will combine historical archives with drama and CGI. Band Of Brothers producer Erik Jendresen is working with director Adrian Moat to get it made, while Billy Campbell, Jesse Johnson, Geraldine Hughes and more are among the cast.
“The murder of Lincoln is not a passage of our history — it was a signpost of our American character, then, now and forever,” said Hanks in a statement picked up by Deadline.
“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,” adds Scott.
Currently, the film is set to air early next year and will likely be dedicated to the late Tony Scott, as it was one of the last projects he was involved in.