The Hollywood Reporter‘s Michael O’Connell traveled to Morocco in October to visit the set of the upcoming Nat Geo film “Killing Jesus,” which is based on Bill O’Reilly‘s best-selling book. This the third — and at $12 million the most expensive — of the book-to-film projects in O’Reilly’s “Killing” series, following “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy” which also aired on Nat Geo. From O’Connell:
But now, that association has added a new layer of intrigue around the project as O’Reilly has come under fire for claims he made about his time covering the Falklands War in 1982. Nothing factual in Killing Jesus has been challenged, but the allegations of inaccuracies have touched another O’Reilly book, Killing Kennedy, which has been accused of falsely stating that O’Reilly was present at the 1977 suicide of Lee Harvey Oswald’s friend George de Mohrenschildt. O’Reilly has denounced the claims on his show; publisher Henry Holt and Co. stands by its author and says it has “no plans to look into this matter.”
Nat Geo execs privately hope the controversy actually will help its Killing Jesus ratings just as it has boosted O’Reilly’s Fox News tune-in. The previous Killing pics already rank as the No. 1 and No. 2 telecasts in Nat Geo history, with about 3.4 million viewers apiece.
“Killing Jesus” debuts March 29 — Palm Sunday — on Nat Geo.