Somewhat of a cinematic chameleon, character actors don't come along much better than Jared Harris. Portraying everyone from Andy Warhol ("I Shot Andy Warhol") to Captain Mike ("The Curious Case Of Benjamin To Button") to Moriarty in next month's "Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows," the actor has pretty much done it all in movies both big and small. And now the mighty Spielberg has come calling.
Even with two movies headed to theaters next month, Spielberg isn't slowing down as he gears up to get his dream project "Lincoln" up next. Variety reports that Harris is now on board to take on the role of Ulysses S. Grant in the movie. One of Lincoln's biggest supporters and the heroic, famed leader of the Union army, figures in American history don't come much larger than Grant. Calling Lincoln "the greatest man I have ever known," Grant was originally invited to join the President and his wife at Ford's Theater and may have been a target of assassinatoin himself, but chose instead to go to Philadelphia. Grant himself would later become the 18th President Of The United States.
Filming was originally slated to begin this fall but it seems to have been pushed slightly, but we'd wager it'll be up in production soon. Harris joins a pretty outrageously great cast that includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill, Joseph Cross, David Strathairn, Walton Goggins, Lee Pace, Jackie Earle Haley and David Oyelowo. This project and materials seems like a no-brainer win, but given what we've heard from some of the advance screenings of "War Horse," we have some concerns. Let's just hope Spielberg can bring a balanced approach to the material. John Williams will be back to score the movie, while we assume the rest of Spielberg's technical crew (Janusz Kaminski, etc) will be back in the fold as well.
Harris will next be seen reprising his role as Lane Pryce in the delayed, much anticipated fifth season of "Mad Men." Meanwhile, "Lincoln" doesn't have a release date yet but is expected to factor into the awards season in 2012.