Should We Be Concerned About National Geographic’s JFK Assassination Flick, Killing Kennedy?

Rob Lowe puts his political pants back on, Bill O'Reilly is melodramatic‚ÄĒand who will play Lee Harvey Oswald?

By | Arts & Entertainment |
Images via shankbone, gageskidmore, loneprimate / Flickr.

Rob Lowe, Ginnifer Goodwin photos via shankbone, gageskidmore/Flickr

Last week,¬†The Hollywood Reporter and the rest of the Internet exploded with reports about the cast of National Geographic’s John F. Kennedy TV biopic that will premiere late this year for the 50th anniversary of the former president’s assassination.

Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation) will be pulling out his political pants from his West Wing days as he was cast as President Kennedy for the movie, titled¬†Killing Kennedy, based on the narrative book by Bill O’Reilly (yes, that Bill O’Reilly). Actress Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon A Time,¬†He’s Just Not That Into You)¬†was also cast as American royalty and the ever-chic Jackie Kennedy. Former Nickelodeon child actress and Gossip Girl star, Michelle Trachtenburg, will play her first Russian-speaking role as Marina Oswald. Trachtenburg is fluent in the language.

‚ÄúWith¬†Killing Kennedy, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, National Geographic Channel continues to bring daring, culturally significant television events to our growing global audience,” said the President of National Geographic Channels, Howard T. Owens, in a statement last week.

But let’s take a moment to evaluate this statement. The TV drama is an adaptation of Fox News anchor and political fiend Bill O’Rielly’s collection of bestsellers. The collection also includes¬†Killing Lincoln, which NatGeo adapted for the small screen earlier this year that received decent reviews. The Daily News, however, warned that the movie was an accurate marker for O’Reilly’s writing style: “[Killing Lincoln] injects redundant melodrama into a story that generates enough genuine drama on its own.”

So sure, NatGeo does bring “culturally significant television events” to its audience, but who’s not to say that news nightmare Bill O’Reilly is incapable of exaggerating real-life events to draw an audience? Or perhaps, not even to draw an audience, but just for the sake of being a political rageaholic. You decide, viewers.

Furthermore, the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination is also a coining marker for the promotion of the film. But don’t forget, Tom Hanks is producing a competing JFK assassination flick due to debut at the same time this fall. Hanks’s movie, called Parkland,¬†stars Zac Efron and Billy Bob Thornton (what a team!) and will refute conspiracies surrounding the assassination. A conspiracy-driven JFK assassination movie starring Zac Efron is an ordeal that’ll be real difficult to compete with.

Metro also says that the role of Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald will be cast within the next two weeks, according to a network spokeswoman.

So I pose to you the final question: Who should play Lee Harvey Oswald? Here are some prime candidates:

Bryan Callen
CSI, The Hangover

Damian Lewis
Homeland, Band of Brothers

Casey Affleck
Gone Baby Gone, Good Will Hunting

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2013/06/05/national-geographic-killing-kennedy-jfk-movie/