Parks and Recreation actor Rob Lowe has been cast as President John F. Kennedy in the upcoming two-hour National Geographic movie Killing Kennedy.
Once Upon a Time star Ginnifer Goodwin will play Jacqueline Kennedy and Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will play Marina, wife of presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald has yet to be cast.
The film is based on Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot, a 2012 novel by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. The novel narrates the events leading up to Kennedy’s assassination, as well as the aftermath. The book was published in October 2012 and sold 118,000 copies in its first week.
O’Reilly and Dugard had previously written Killing Lincoln, which was also adapted for National Geographic in February 2013. The TV adaptation — which was NatGeo’s first original scripted drama — set a record for the channel, averaging 3.4 million viewers. The previous record-holder was Inside 9/11, which drew 3 million viewers in August 2005.
Killing Kennedy‘s premiere will coincide with the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death (November 22, 1963). Production on the movie will begin in Richmond, Virginia, next month. The film also marks NatGeo’s second collaboration with Lowe, who narrated the channel’s six-part miniseries The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us in April.
In 2011, ReelzChannel broadcast the eight-part miniseries The Kennedys. Little Miss Sunshine star Greg Kinnear played JFK, and Katie Holmes (Batman Begins) played the First Lady. Early criticism of the series was generally negative, and the miniseries later received an average score of 50/100 on Metacritic. Still, The Kennedys went on to win several awards at the 63rd Primetime Emmys, as well as a Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series.
National Geographic already has plans underway to adapt O’Reilly’s next novel, Killing Jesus.
Do you think Rob Lowe and Ginnifer Goodwin were good choices to play JFK and Jackie Kennedy?