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.