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National Geographic teams with Bill O'Reilly again for 'Killing Jesus' adaptation

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L: National Geographic Channels R: Reuters

(Read caption) Bill O'Reilly (r.)'s book 'Killing Jesus,' which will be the basis for the National Geographic adaptation, is due out this September from publisher Henry Holt. Left: Actor Billy Campbell portrays Abraham Lincoln in the adaptation of O'Reilly's book 'Killing Lincoln.'

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National Geographic is teaming up with TV personality and author Bill O’Reilly again to adapt his newest book for television.

O’Reilly’s forthcoming book “Killing Jesus,” which is due out this September, will be adapted for television by National Geographic, the channel which also took on adaptations of O’Reilly’s previous books “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy.” National Geographic will be working with director and producer Ridley Scott’s company, Scott Free Productions.

The book and TV adaptation will tell the story of Jesus “as a beloved and controversial young revolutionary brutally killed by Roman soldiers" and will also recount "the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable and the changes that his life brought upon the world for the centuries to follow,” according to National Geographic.

Scott, whose production company has worked with O’Reilly and National Geographic on the previous two adaptations, told TheWrap.com that he is “privileged” to be teaming up again with National Geographic to adapt O’Reilly’s work. 

“O'Reilly has proven with ‘Killing Lincoln' and ‘Killing Kennedy' that the public is fascinated with the tragic tales of these renowned historical figures, and this is one of the most dramatic stories ever told," Scott said. 

The book version of “Killing Jesus,” for which O’Reilly is teaming up again with his co-author Martin Dugard, is due out Sept. 24. The televised adaptation has a projected air date of 2014.

“Killing Lincoln” aired this February on the National Geographic channel and set a ratings record for the channel, with 3.4 million viewers tuning in – the biggest audience the channel has ever had. "The Killing" and "The Rocketeer" actor Billy Campbell portrayed Abraham Lincoln and actor Tom Hanks narrated. The adaptation of “Killing Kennedy” is currently in preproduction.

“This is the big one," O'Reilly said of “Killing Jesus” in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. "We really like working with Nat Geo and Scott Free because the B.S. component is very small. These guys are right on my wavelength. We get a good screenplay, we shoot it, and we put it on.”


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