Steven Spielberg's Lincoln Will Still See the Light of Day
by Ethan Anderton
September 15, 2009
It's been years since a Steven Spielberg project based on the life of Abraham Lincoln was announced. The production ran into budget issues back in February, and since then there haven't been any further developments. But with recent active development surrounding another Lincoln-based historical drama (Robert Redford's The Conspirator), many have been wondering if Spielberg's Lincoln would ever come to fruition and if so, what the effect of another Lincoln-based film on the market might have on it. But this is Spielberg, ladies and gentlemen, and as a recent report from Variety proves, he's not one to be intimidated.
If fuzzy, cutesy animal antics from groundhogs and monkeys don't stop audiences from checking out Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (and even the prospect of a fifth installment), then an independent movie isn't going to stop people from checking out a Lincoln biopic with Liam Neeson as the noble president. Here's what Spielberg told Variety's Peter Bart:
"We are very happy that Redford will be doing this Lincoln movie. It is completely different from what our DreamWorks Lincoln movie will be, and we believe that it will add to the commercial potential of our film. Lincoln as a subject is inexhaustible."
As always, Spielberg keeps it classy and real. Of course both of these Lincoln pics are extremely different. While Redford's focuses on assassination conspirator Mary Surratt, Spielberg's focuses on the president's anguish over the length and toll of the Civil War. As of now Tony Kushner is revising the script, but we still have to ask ourselves, how soon can Spielberg get to this project? He's deep in post-production on The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, then is supposed to be working on a remake of the 1950 Jimmy Stewart film Harvey, and he has almost a dozen other projects that he's producing (like maybe the Halo movie?) or is attached to direct as well. So I still think it's going to be a good few years before we see this biopic unless some drastic changes are made in his production schedule soon.
Either way it seems highly unlikely that a Spielberg film about someone as iconic as Abraham Lincoln would have trouble drawing a crowd. And even though Redford does indeed command respect, his last effort, the disastrous United Artists start-up Lions for Lambs doesn't exactly help his street cred. Audiences will just have to wait for both films and judge for themselves. Which Abraham Lincoln film are you looking forward to the most?
Reader Feedback - 8 Comments
I am excited for both. Abe has been my favorite Prez since I was in 1st grade. I will def see both.
AllmightyKeim on Sep 15, 2009
I hope he shows during the Civil War when Lincoln survives a nuclear blast while hiding in fridge. Or that time General Grant got drunk and went swinging through some trees with some monkeys.
bracomadar on Sep 15, 2009
Because the two films are different, I'll check them both out. And while LIONS FOR LAMBS was a disappointment, it's still Redford here. However, if I had to choose, I'm definitely choosing Steven Spielberg's film. I've been waiting for it ever since he announced that he wanted to make it, and I hate that studios aren't trusting him no matter the budget. It's SPIELBERG! Either way, I'll watch both films, but I'm mostly anticipating Spielberg's.
Kenneth Van Castle on Sep 15, 2009
I think Redford's will be "cooler" because it's about the assassination and it'll be intense and much easier to draw a crowd (probably why it is actually in production) But, a great director hasn't really tackled the most important story of Lincoln, which is his Presidency, which is what Spielberg will do, which is what I will look forward to the most. If both directors do a good job, I would hope that Spielberg's would do better and not Redford's that is only concerned with one aspect of Lincoln's time as President.
branden on Sep 15, 2009
j on Sep 15, 2009
I, too, am excited for both, but I want to see Spielberg's version most of all.
Corran Horn on Sep 15, 2009
Spielberg and Kushner reuniting again- and with Neeson, no less. What's not to like? I thought "Lions for Lambs" was a lame criticism of the War in Iraq (Brian De Palma did a better job with "Redacted"), but Redford is a good filmmaker and I think his dramatization of the Lincoln assassination will, indeed, help out Spielberg's film.
Adam Zanzie on Sep 22, 2009
I recently heard of an a "Project" of making a film of "Abraham Lincoln" on the Discovery Channel on TV. My Fiance, Brian Winters, is a "Direct Decendant of Abraham Lincoln" and his Likeness is uncanny to the image of Mr. Lincoln. In this documentation, it appeared as tho you were having some problem as to finding someone that could play Abraham's Character. I would like to suggest that you get in touch with me, as Brian is a definate "Look-Alike" right down to body and facial Stature. I would hope that you would consider responding and seeing for yourself. Thank You for your time in reading this, and I hope to hear from you. I also may have some peoples who might be able to "Fund this Project"! Linda Mogg
Linda Mogg on Feb 14, 2010
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