Actor and improv comic Kyle S. More (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, CSI) has been cast as Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr. in Scott Free Productions’ two-hour adaptation of Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Reagan for National Geographic Channel.
Additionally, Michael H. Cole (Dirty Grandpa) has been cast as Jim Brady, Reagan’s trusted press secretary who was shot and paralyzed in the attempt on Reagan’s life in 1981. Geoff Pierson (Castle, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire) takes the role of Reagan senior adviser James Baker III. Also among Reagan’s inner circle of aides and advisers, Jeff Harlan (Parks and Recreation, NCIS) plays Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Deaver, and Joel Murray (Mad Men, Shameless) appears as Reagan adviser/eventual Attorney General Edwin Meese. Joe Chrest (Ant-Man, True Detective) has been cast as Jerry Parr, the Secret Service agent at Reagan’s side who is credited with helping save the president’s life.
Deadline previously reported Tim Matheson will portray President Ronald Reagan and Cynthia Nixon will play First Lady Nancy Reagan in the adaptation. And, in a Hitchockian move, O’Reilly will have a small role in the project, which he declined to name except to say it was “a pretty fun role.”
Hinckley became obsessed with the movie Taxi Driver, and its co-star Jodie Foster. In an effort to impress her, Hinckley decided to emulate the storyline of the lead character, played by Robert De Niro, who plots the murder of a presidential candidate. On March 30, Hinckley shot the recently sworn-in Reagan as he left the Washington Hilton. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
More’s credits include Christopher Guests’ upcoming Mascots opposite Chris O’Dowd for Netflix; recurring roles on TNT’s Murder In The First, Disney Channel’s Gamer’s Guide To Pretty Much Anything, and Comedy Central’s Trip Tank. Earlier, he founded the sketch comedy troupe The Cool Table.
Last September National Geographic Channel said it was continuing its partnership with Scott Free Productions to produce and premiere this adaptation of the latest book in the “Killing” series from O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Their Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus are the most-watched programs in NatGeo Channel history (Kennedy and Jesus also were Emmy nominated in 2014 and 2015, respectively).
Rod Lurie (The Contender, Commander in Chief) is directing the script by Eric Simonson. Shooting in Atlanta, the project is scheduled to air in late October, so as to debut right before the presidential election, in which another “outsider,” Donald Trump, is the presumptive GOP nominee. (Unlike actor-turned-SAG-president-turned-California-governor Reagan, however, Trump never has held elected office before running for the White House.)
For Scott Free, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker and Mary Lisio are exec producers of the National Geographic Channel adaptation, and Clayton Krueger is co-EP. O’Reilly also is EP on the project. For national Geo Channels, Carolyn G. Bernstein is EP.
More is repped by APA and Jordan Tilzer at El Centro.