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JUL
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'The Killing's' Billy Campbell Leads Cast of NGC's 'Killing Lincoln'

Jesse Johnson will play John Wilkes Booth in the two-hour TV movie from Ridley and Tony Scott that's based on the book by Bill O'Reilly.

"The Killing"
Billy Campbell in "The Killing"

The Killing's Billy Campbell is dusting off his top hat.

The actor will headline the cast of National Geographic Channel's two-hour TV movie Killing Lincoln, playing President Abraham Lincoln, the cable network announced Monday.

Based on the New York Times best-seller by Bill O'Reilly, Ridley and Tony Scott -- through their Scott Free Productions shingle -- will produce the effort, which is set to air early next year.

STORY: 'The Killing's' Rosie Larsen Killer on Keeping TV's Biggest Secret

Jesse Johnson (NBC's busted pilot A Mann's World) will play John Wilkes Booth, with Geraldine Hughes (Gran Torino) set as first lady Mary Todd Lincoln and Graham Beckel (L.A. Confidential) as Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Shawn Pyfrom (Pay It Forward) will play Pvt. John W. Nichols, the man who witnessed Lincoln's assassination attempt in August 1864 -- eight months before the president was killed.

Teri Ellen Weinberg (The Office) will executive produce for NGC. Killing Lincoln, based on the book by O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, began production Monday in Richmond, Va.

AMC has yet to make a decision on the fate of The Killing, which recently wrapped its second season by revealing the answer to its big mystery: who killed Rosie Larsen.

Campbell is repped by CAA and Kritzer Levine.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit