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Spielberg Casts Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

by Anne Thompson
November 19, 2010 6:54 AM
9 Comments
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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.

9 Comments

  • free bee | February 20, 2011 3:37 AMReply

    ----What? --Lincoln again?

    Far more fascinating in this the 11th hour of doomed POST America
    would be a deep quality take on the assasination of Pres. GARFIELD
    decades later.

    CHECK OUT what's come to light. Download the Vyzygoth/Eric Phelps interview on Youtube.

    IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

  • ramesh | November 19, 2010 9:18 AMReply

    good grief!

  • Brian | November 19, 2010 9:10 AMReply

    I'm usually skeptical and a bit of a naysayer when casting news hits. But this is different. Lincoln needs a dynamic actor who can bring him to life as a living, breathing, feeling human being caught up in a period of extraordinary crisis and turmoil. Raymond Massey did it once. Daniel Day Lewis seems like just the right one to do it today. Now if only they can do a scene with the NYC Draft Riots and have someone (Liam Neeson?) do a cameo as Bill the Butcher. And in a perfect world Bill and Ted would have a cameo.

    Did you know that Massey not only played Lincoln, but also John Brown and Junius Brutus Booth (father of Lincoln's assassin)?

  • jake prescott | November 19, 2010 8:15 AMReply

    fyi, cynic72: that's 16th PRESIDENT not 16th century. the article had it right.

    some cynic you are.

  • SaraB | November 19, 2010 8:11 AMReply

    @cynic- it doesn't say he was President during the 16th century, it says he was the 16th president (which is correct.)

  • Lynda | November 19, 2010 7:59 AMReply

    Very excited to hear about Daniel Day-Lewis' casting! He will be as he usually is, a revelation, in the role.

  • cynic72 | November 19, 2010 7:57 AMReply

    Just a heads-up: Lincoln was prez during the 19th century, not the 16.

  • mary | November 19, 2010 7:24 AMReply

    Maybe Disney’s Touchstone will release "Lincoln" before Election 2012?

  • Keil Shults | November 19, 2010 7:13 AMReply

    I had never thought about it before, but Day-Lewis actually does seem like he'd make a great Lincoln. Count me in.

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