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Ridley Scott making Killing Jesus drama for Nat Geo

Ridley Scott’s TV production firm is making a feature length version of upcoming Bill O’Reilly book Killing Jesus for National Geographic Channel. The same partners are also uniting for a show about Kennedy’s Assassination, Killing Kennedy.

The projects reunite Fox-owned Nat Geo with Scott and O’Reilly after Killing Lincoln, its first ever scripted show, which was based on another of the author’s works and was also made by Scott Free.

That was National Geographic Channel’s highest ever rating series, generating 3.4 million when it was shown in February. The show is being sold by Nat Geo’s Global Content Sales division.

The news of the feature-length Killing Jesus project comes ahead of the publication of O’Reilly’s book. It will tell the story of Jesus of Nazareth as a beloved and controversial young revolutionary killed by Roman soldiers and recount the seismic political and historical events surrounding his death.

Production on the television event will begin this autumn and the special will premiere globally on NGC in 171 countries next year.

Pre-production is underway on Killing Kennedy.

“O’Reilly has proven with ‘Killing Lincoln’ and ‘Killing Kennedy’ that the public is fascinated with the tragic tales of these renowned historical figures, and [Killing Jesus] is one of the most dramatic stories ever told. We are privileged to once again work with National Geographic Channel to bring Bill’s vision to the screen,” said Ridley Scott.

“With the tremendous success of Killing Lincoln, partnering with Bill O’Reilly on his next two blockbuster titles is a real thrill for us, and clearly something our audience craves,” said Nat Geo Channel president Howard T. Owens.

The news about Killing Jesus comes on the heels of National Geographic Channels International and Sky Vision’s announcement that they are joining forces to make, Jesus: Rise to Power, a three-part factual miniseries about Jesus and the rise of Christianity.