National Geographic is expanding their Killing franchise from Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly and Scott Free Productions. The network has given the green-light to Killing Patton, a four-hour TV miniseries based on the book by O’Reilly which was first published in 2014.
Killing Patton explores the demise of famed WWII General George S. Patton, died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost seventy years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident-and may very well have been an act of assassination. Like the book on which it is based, the adaptation will be set in 1945 and reveal who wanted him silenced.
“Scott Free Productions and National Geographic Channels have done a brilliant job bringing to life the towering historical figures in my Killing series, and I’m very confident our continued partnership will yield a gripping film about General Patton’s tragic death” O’Reilly said in a statement. “Tapping into some of Hollywood’s best and brightest in front of and behind the camera has worked tremendously well for the film adaptations so I look forward to seeing this approach continue our winning streak with the franchise.”
Anthony Peckham is penning the script for the adaptation, which is being produced by Scott Free Productions and is based on the book Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Peckham, whose previous credits include Robert Downey Jr feature film Sherlock Holmes, will serve as an executive producer alongside O’Reilly, Ridley Scott, David Zucker, Mary Lisio, Teri Weinberg and Charlie Parsons.
The marks the fifth entry in the so-called Killing franchise, which started on National Geographic in 2013 with Killing Lincoln. That was soon followed by Killing Kennedy later in 2013, while a third adaptation, Killing Jesus, aired on National Geographic earlier this year. The fourth adaptation, Killing Reagan, which unlike the other entries focusses on an assassination attempt rather than an actual death, is in the works at National Geographic and is expected to air in 2016.
“With their unique historical insights, absorbing narratives and A-list talent on screen and behind the scenes, the Killing films have proven must-see hits with audiences all over the world”, added Tim Pastore National Geographic’s President of Original Programming. “We are very excited to be re-teaming with Bill O’Reilly and Scott Free to add Killing Patton to our scripted slate. We’re also thrilled to have screenwriter Anthony Peckham come on board to help bring this project to life, especially given his past successes in delivering iconic characters to the big screen that have garnered critical acclaim and resonated with audiences around the globe.”