Playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner added a dash of backroom intrigue and punchy exchanges to his script for Steven Spielberg‘s “Lincoln” last year, and while the film brought us a typically excellent performance from Daniel Day Lewis and a sort of genius, odd turn from James Spader as a political operative, it also garnered appropriate rewards—12 Oscar nominations (winning two, for DDL and Production Design) and more than $275 million at the box office. Obviously that’s a result that begs for follow-up considerations, and now, DreamWorks are turning to the source that wrote of Lincoln’s political tactics once more for another historical drama, this time on the 26th and 27th Presidents of the United States.
THR reports Dreamworks have swooped in on the rights for Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearn Goodwin‘s upcoming book, “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism,” which tracks the friendship and then rivalry between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, as well as the birth of muckraking journalism. The studio says the story covers “Roosevelt’s fighting spirit and impulsive temperament… in counterpoint to Taft’s deliberative, conciliatory disposition,” which eventually divides the Republican Party down the middle and alters the course of American history.”
Goodwin, whose previous book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” grew into Spielberg’s eventual film, has been working on ‘Bully Pulpit’ since 2008, and now looks to experience the same treatment again, although perhaps with a different choice of director. Dreamworks also has a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic in the works, along with their Chicago Seven project, halted after Paul Greengrass exited the scene; still, it seems best to look for news on those before any on Goodwin’s project—the book still needs to be released on Nov. 5th.