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Spielberg Casts Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 19, 2010 at 6:54AM

Steven Spielberg has found his Lincoln. Ultra-picky Daniel Day-Lewis, 53, with two Oscars behind him, seems picture-perfect for the role of the iconic 16th president of the United States, who lead the country through the bloody Civil War. Liam Neeson was in line for the role at one point, but dropped out of the running, citing his age, 58 (Lincoln was 56 when he was assassinated). Said Spielberg:
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Thompson on Hollywood

Steven Spielberg has found his Lincoln. Ultra-picky Daniel Day-Lewis, 53, with two Oscars behind him, seems picture-perfect for the role of the iconic 16th president of the United States, who lead the country through the bloody Civil War. Liam Neeson was in line for the role at one point, but dropped out of the running, citing his age, 58 (Lincoln was 56 when he was assassinated). Said Spielberg:

“Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted as one of the greatest of actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema's distant future. I am grateful and inspired that our paths will finally cross with Lincoln."

Spielberg's period biopic is based on the best-selling book Team of Rivals, by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Like the book, the script adapted by Tony-and-Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America) will focus on "the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War," according to DreamWorks. Kushner's adapted script for Spielberg's Munich earned an Oscar nomination.
 
Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy are producing the film which is slated to start production in the fall of 2011 for release in the fourth quarter of 2012 through Disney’s Touchstone distribution label.

The Playlist adds more details.

This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Independents, Studios, News, Steven Spielberg, Biopics, DreamWorks, Disney


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.