The Projector

Daniel Day-Lewis Will Be Steven Spielberg’s Abraham Lincoln

Tim Grierson
The Projector

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Ladies and gentlemen, here's your Lincoln. Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen, here's your Lincoln. Samir Hussein/Getty Images

For what seems like forever, director Steven Spielberg has talked about wanting to do a biopic on Abraham Lincoln from a script by "Angels in America" playwright Tony Kushner. But for the past decade, Spielberg has instead focused on other projects while Liam Neeson remained committed to playing our 16th president. When Neeson announced this summer that he was finally leaving the project, that seemed to be the end of it ever happening, but now the film is very much back on track: Daniel Day-Lewis is going to play Lincoln.

Photos: See more of Lincoln-to-be Daniel Day-Lewis>>

While Neeson would have a made a great Lincoln, we think Day-Lewis is just about a perfect choice: He has just the right amount of humanity, gravitas and charisma to play the most admired and worshipped (and therefore scrutinized) of all presidents. It's a major role in a major film by a major filmmaker, which means that audience expectations will be set ridiculously high, so you want someone who's got the chops to pull it off. He proved himself in Oscar-winning roles in "My Left Foot" and "There Will Be Blood," picking up additional Oscar nominations for his work in films including "In the Name of the Father" and "Gangs of New York." And after the debacle of "Nine," Day-Lewis needs to return to the type of full-bodied character portrayals he's known for, like "There Will Be Blood." This Lincoln project should do just that for the notoriously reclusive actor who has been known to go into seclusion for years following a film (he took off four full years after "My Left Foot").

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The film, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals" biography about Lincoln's battles with his White House Cabinet during the Civil War between 1861-1865, profiles the clashes brought about by the nation's turmoil. The Wrap reports that Spielberg will be shooting the film in the fall of next year. In other words, Spielberg will start the Lincoln project just before his next two movies will be coming out: the World War I drama "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn." There had been some thought his next assignment after those two would be the apocalyptic sci-fi film "Robopocalypse", but it appears Spielberg will now be focusing on 19th century history before he turns his attention to the dystopian future. And now he's got arguably the best actor on the planet by his side to make this long-awaited film finally happen.

Breaking: Daniel Day-Lewis Is Spielberg's 'Lincoln' [The Wrap]
Liam Neeson Quits Spielberg's 'Lincoln' [Screen Rant]

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