Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 5.15.39 PMIt must be a frustrating thing for an actor to take on the challenge of playing a major icon and have the results released at the very moment one of the most celebrated actors of all time is being unanimously lauded for definitively interpreting. My thoughts are with Billy Campbell’s ego.

In any event, it’s unlikely any aspect of National Geographic’s Killing Lincoln won’t go compared to Spielberg’s brilliant film, even though the two are ultimately about very different things. Whereas Lincoln does not even deign to mention John Wilkes Booth, this TV film is entirely about Booth and Lincoln’s final days before converging on Ford’s Theatre.

Oddly, the trailer that has shown up on EW is cut a little too much like a thriller for my taste, with Lincoln almost seeming to be in a horror movie of sorts. Still, the production –directed by Adrian Moat– looks sharp enough, and the adaptation of Bill O’Reilly’s novel does have the involvement of producers Ridley Scott, the late Tony Scott,¬†and Tom Hanks (who also narrates). Perhaps without the overenthusiastic trailer editing this will be an interesting bit of historical fiction.

You’ll have to bust over to EW to see said trailer.

Interestingly, a producer has already stirred up some (calculated?) controversy by making some loaded political remarks about the nature of Booth’s political vigilantism, and how it relates to today’s environment. Details on that can be found here.