Thesp to star in Civil War pic for Walden

Harrison Ford will topline Civil War thriller “Manhunt” for Walden Media, portraying war hero Col. Everton Conger, leader of the search for Abraham Lincoln’s assassin.

“Manhunt” will be produced by Lawrence Bender; Mike Rich (“The Rookie,” “Finding Forrester”) will pen the screenplay.

Project will focus on the tense days after Lincoln’s assassination in 1865 and follow the New York Cavalry as it solves the mystery that eventually leads to John Wilkes Booth, uncovering a plot that threatens to plunge the nation back into war. Conger was in command of the troops when they tracked down Booth in a Virginia barn 12 days after Lincoln was shot.

Pic will be based on James L. Swanson’s upcoming book “Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer,” an hour-by-hour account of the search for Booth, to be published by William Morrow in February.

Swanson, a Washington, D.C.-based author and attorney, previously wrote about the crime in 2001′s “Lincoln’s Assassins: Their Trial and Execution.”

Exec VP Alex Schwartz, VP Jackie Levine and director of development Evan Turner are overseeing the project for Walden.

Ford most recently starred in bank-heist caper “Firewall,” which is in post-production for Warner Bros. and Beacon.

Walden is producing “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” due out Dec. 9 from Disney, and “Charlotte’s Web,” due out in June from Paramount. Shingle’s also partnered with New Line on “Hoot” and “How to Eat Fried Worms.”

Ford and Rich are repped by UTA.

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