Scoop: Toby Kebbell Cast as John Wilkes Booth in The Conspirator
by Alex Billington
November 4, 2009
Last night, a friend of mine at a Hollywood party ran into Toby Kebbell, the very talented British actor who some of you may remember seeing in RocknRolla as Johnny Quid or in Control as Rob Gretton. His career has taken off recently, as Disney has given him two key roles in two of their big movies - Prince of Persia and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. My friend said that Kebbell told him that he is getting ready to shoot Robert Redford's The Conspirator, in which he plays the role of John Wilkes Booth. The film already has an impressive cast lead by James McAvoy and Robin Wright Penn, but Kebbell wasn't listed anywhere.
This not a rumor, it is confirmed casting. I trust my friend and know for certain that Kebbell was there talking with him (as I was at the same party). I'm surprised that his involvement hasn't been announced yet, especially because John Wilkes Booth is quite an important character. The Conspirator tells the story of Mary Surratt, the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. "As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life." McAvoy plays the lawyer, Frederick Aiken, and Justin Long plays his best friend and conscience.
From that plot synopsis, I could see how one might think that John Wilkes Booth wouldn't even show up in the movie, but considering we know he was the actual guy who shot Lincoln, it makes sense that he is indeed in it at some point. As for casting Toby Kebbell in that role, it seems odd considering he's British, but he's a very talented actor and should do a great job. Robert Redford definitely knows how to pick great actors for his films and this is no exception. In addition to McAvoy, Penn, Long, and Kebbell, The Conspirator also stars Evan Rachel Wood, Alexis Bledel, Kevin Kline, and Tom Wilkinson. It's currently shooting in Georgia.