It’s been the best part of a decade since Steven Spielberg announced he wanted to tackle a biopic of Abraham Lincoln. The director optioned the rights to Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s “Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius Of Abraham Lincoln” before the book was published in 2005, and soon set his “Munich” writer Tony Kushner with the task of adapting the project. Liam Neeson was set to play the president, but the film kept getting pushing back, and the “Schindler’s List” star was eventually deemed too old, and two-time Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis stepped in instead, with filming finally getting underway late last year.
Even so, less than two months from the film’s release, footage — or indeed anything but a single official image from the project — had not yet been unveiled, unusual for a film that most have been touting as a big Oscar player. Until now, that is. Hot on the heels of a teaser snippet earlier in the week, Spielberg has unveiled the full trailer to the film in the midst of a Google+ Hangout, because that’s something that people apparently do now.
As far as we’re concerned, it looks handsome, sweeping, and… surprisingly light on Lincoln. Most of the dialog and screen time seem to go to the supporting players — which is at least appropriate given the “Team Of Rivals” source material — with Daniel Day-Lewis looking as impressive as you might imagine in the title role, but not getting a lot of screen time, at least in terms of actual dialogue. So now that it’s here….what do you think? The epic we’ve all been waiting for, or typical Spielberg schmaltz? Or something else entirely?
Co-starring a ridiculously packed ensemble including Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who participated in the hangout with Spielberg too), Sally Field, David Strathairn, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, John Hawkes, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Bruce McGill, Adam Driver, Walton Goggins, TIm Blake Nelson, Hal Holbrook and David Oyelowo, the film goes into limited release on November 9th, and opens wider on November 16th. Watch below.