Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Steven Spielberg attracts A-list for Lincoln

Steven Spielberg – Director, Producer, Writer, Triple-Oscar Winner, the list could go on into the night. Another priceless talent “The Beard” owns is that he has a certain knack at assembling one heck of a cast. Over his sparkling career he has worked with the likes of Tom Hanks, Liam Neeson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Matt Damon and Harrison Ford just to name a few. He can pretty much snap up any big name he wants because he is Steven Spielberg.

The story of one Abraham Lincoln has been a project deep in the heart of Spielberg for over ten years now. Liam Neeson had always been attached to the lead role until a certain Daniel Day-Lewis stepped into the shoes of the Schindler’s List actor to don the top hat of the 16th President of the United States. This was a match made in heaven – one of the greatest director’s to work alongside an actor who I consider to be one of the strongest and most consistent actors in the history of cinema. I had the great pleasure of meeting Daniel Day-Lewis a few months back, albeit a brief one at that, during a screening of In the Name of the Father in memory of the late Pete Postlethwaite and I could easily envisage him as Lincoln. One thing’s for sure – There will be beard!

Last week I experienced a buzzing sensation when I glazed upon a news article stating Spielberg had recruited a number of stars to accompany Day-Lewis in his cherished Lincoln biopic. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook and James Spader have all signed on for Lincoln. The Jurassic Park maestro is rounding up a huge cast for what sounds to me like a very personal film about not only a fascinating figure but a fascinating period in American history. Not only that there are several other names queuing round the block for a shot at working with the Oscar-Winning director. Winter’s Bone Oscar nominee John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill and Joseph Cross are all in negotiations to join the already sterling cast. Not to mention it was announced last month that Sally Field, of Brothers & Sisters fame was confirmed to star alongside Daniel Day-Lewis as his other half, Mary Todd.

The story will focus on the sixteenth President leading the north to victory during the Civil War. It will also centre on the clashes between the President and the officers within the cabinet. Jones will play a strong ally to Abe Lincoln as Republican leader and Congressman Thaddeus Stevens. Stevens was a staunch supporter of abolishing slavery and was critical to writing the legislation that funded the American Civil War. Gordon-Levitt will play Lincoln’s eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, who, incidentally was the only one to live past his teenage years.

The man behind such iconic and classic movies like Jaws, E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark has a jam packed schedule at the moment with post-production of his World War I epic, War Horse set for release early next year. But before that he has another cherished project in post-production, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn starring Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis and co-produced by Mr. Peter Jackson, set for release in October.

Lincoln is set to begin filming this Autumn. Two notes for the filofax – Lincoln is set for release in December 2012 and the 85th Annual Academy Awards, most likely in February 2013 – Cos lets face it, like The King’s Speech, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is typical Oscar bait.

Written by Michael Cunneen