Spielberg Filming Lincoln Movie After Tintin

May 12, 2008
Source: Variety

Abraham Lincoln

With Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull hitting theaters in 10 more days, we're sure to hear a lot from Steven Spielberg over the next few weeks. He's directed films set in 1936, 1944, 1957, 1972, even 2054, but now Spielberg will head all the way back to 1865. After finishing his segment of Tintin this fall, Spielberg will move on to direct Lincoln in 2009. It was initially thought that he might direct The Trial of the Chicago 7 next, but issues with the script have prevented that project from moving forward. Instead, it sounds like Lincoln, a film about the life of our 16th president, will officially be Spielberg's gig film after he finishes Tintin. Are you excited to see the "guy on the penny" come to life on the big screen?

The report comes from a German magazine named FOCUS via Variety. They say that Spielberg could pull off back-to-back schedules like this without a hitch and that the script is strong enough for the film to be fast tracked into production, whereas The Trial of the Chicago 7's script needs more work. Lincoln's screenplay is loosely based on the biography titled "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" written by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. It was adapted by playwright Tony Kushner, who also wrote Munich.

Beyond a good script, Liam Neeson agreed to play Lincoln years ago and is still waiting to start. Almost everything is in place with Lincoln, which is why it makes the most sense for Spielberg to jump onto that film next. I can't exactly say I'm looking forward to seeing a 19th century period film about Abraham Lincoln, who seems to get made fun of (with his beard and top hat) more than accurately portrayed. However, it is Spielberg, so I'm sure it'll be great no matter what. I'll be one to say that he rarely screws up - even I enjoyed War of the Worlds and The Terminal.

As we all know, nothing is truly set in stone in Hollywood until contracts are signed, and until Steven Spielberg is actually shooting, we won't officially claim anything about his future. Although FOCUS confirms this from Spielberg himself, it's still best to hold out until we hear more. Is anyone actually looking forward to Spielberg's Lincoln movie at all?

Special bonus to anyone who can name the movies that were set in those five years mentioned in the opening paragraph.

Find more posts: Movie News



Looks like Spielberg loves to cover many periods. Not including his indie/ameteur western films from his teens... 1839 Amistad 1935 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 1936 Raiders of the Lost Ark 1938 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1939 Schindler's List 1941 1941 1942 Empire of the Sun 1944 Saving Private Ryan 1957 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 1969 Catch Me If You Can 1972 Munich 2054 Minority Report

Bynk on May 12, 2008


This will be an amazing movie.

Iron Man Fan on May 12, 2008


With Liam *YAWN!* Neeson headlining? No, no, I'm not.

Colin (brother of Mike) Hunt on May 12, 2008


Hell yes. Lincoln was the man. Liam Neeson is perfect. The names Speilberg, Neeson, and Lincoln are more than enough to have me interested.

Kelly B. on May 12, 2008


BTW, totally off topic and feel free to delete but Warner Brothers bought the rights to make a live action film of the Robotech cartoon which is based on the anime Macross. Tobey Maguire will be producing it under Maguire entertainment: Depending on the cheesiness factor, this could go really well or really badly.

Glacia on May 12, 2008


There should be a crossover scene with George Bush (of Oliver Stone fame) like in the Incredible Hulk (which isn't out yet.) Waka waka ding dong!

DCompose on May 12, 2008


I say combine LINCOLN with TINTIN and have the dog ending slavery. It's a clear Oscar contender, then.

Edward Lee on May 12, 2008


After seeing this documentary on History Channel on Wilkes-Booth a few years ago, I felt that Matthew McConaughey would be a great J Wilkes-Booth

The Brain on May 12, 2008


there is no way you can pass on such an endearing character.

Jont on May 12, 2008


"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causesme to tremble for the safety of my country......Corporation have been enthronedand an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endevor to prolong it's regn by working upon the prejudices of the people until all the wealth is aggregated in afew hands and the republic is destroyed." U.S. President Abraham Lincoln nov. 21, 1864.

Nick on May 12, 2008


I wonder if this movie will portray Lincoln as the hero-worshipped, high-school history class version or as the historically accurate vile politician that started the most bloody war in the nations history?

Puke on May 12, 2008


I am very excited about this. Ive always been interested in Lincoln. I'm just sad that it won't be coming out sooner. But then again, it's not that long of a wait.

Zach D. on May 12, 2008


#10 Nick - that is a friggin' crazy quote. Eerie. I've been looking forward to this film for a loooooong time. I think Liam Neeson is perfect casting. Spielberg is a genius and I really like his "historical epic" films i.e. Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich.

Ronald on May 12, 2008


Anything that Speilberg does I am there!

Ryan on May 12, 2008


I love lincoln so much it hurts....

Jillian on May 13, 2008


Puke, what you call historically accurate is more of a generalization. It's slightly more complicated than your claim that he single-handedly started the Civil War and was nothing more than a vile politician. I'm not saying he didn't play a hand in both areas but you are very wrong in your outlandish generalization with what you call "historically accurate". You can't place a single label on any person in history, because you'll always leave out something that speaks to the contrary. When you get historically accurate, there are no labels. Just the facts as they are and that's it. The problem surrounding major figures of history is that there are people so enamoured with the rosey heroic picture that surrounds that figure that they'll worship that figure almost like a God, denying that the figure possesses any faults at all. On the other side of the coin, there are shrill people out there that are so determined to destroy that rosey heroic picture that they'll accept nothing but the bad qualities of a historical figure as fact. Anything at all that makes the historical figure look good is simply made-up lies to them. The truth of the matter is that both sides are right, as well as wrong. Everybody has their good traits and bad, and Lincoln is no exception. What I look for in Speilberg's film is a very complicated character in the worst position imaginable during America's darkest moments.

Chris H. on May 13, 2008


Lincoln was a vile politician. He started a war which killed over 600,000 people in the North and South in order to preserve his protectionist tariff. He used the money to pay for railroads and other "internal improvements" in the North. In 1861 Congress passed the Morrill tariff, which raised the tariff rate from 15 percent to 37.5 percent. Later a second tariff would raise the rate to 47.06 percent. This tariff on manufactured goods increased the cost of just about everything Southeners needed and since the South was dependent on trade with Europe, it could not pass the tax increase to consumers because competition in the European markets was fierce. The tariff produced 90 percent of the federal government's revenue and 80 percent of the tariff revenue came from the South. The North was essentially using the government to plunder the South. In his first inagural address, Lincoln threatened to invade any State which did not collect this tariff: "The power confided in me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property, and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion--no using force against, or among the people anywhere." Slavery in the South was never in jeopardy. In a debate with Stephen Douglass, Lincoln said he would not interfere with Southern slavery and thought it Constitutional. He even supported the original 13th admendment which would have prevented the federal government from ever interfering with slavery and said so in his first inaugural address. The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 did not free any slaves in Union territory, only those lands which "were in rebellion to the Union". Not only did Lincoln start a war without the consent of congress, he also shut down newspapers in the North that did not support him; suspended the writ of habeus corpus and imprisoned dissenters; issued an arrest warrant for Chief Justice Rober B. Taney after Taney warned Lincoln his actions were unconstitutional; rigged elections in New York during the 1864 election, using federal troops to intimidate supporters of the Democrats; approved of the war crimes committed by Generals Sherman and Sheridan against Southern civilians; "imprisoned some twenty duly elected members of the Maryland state legislature, the mayor of Baltimore, and Congressman Henry May in violation of the constitutional requirement that the federal government assure that the states have a republican form of government; imprisoned and then deported the most outspoken member of the Democratic Party opposition, Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio; systematically disarmed the border states in violation of the Second Amendment; and confiscated private property." (quotation from Thomas DiLorenzo) These are facts about Lincoln of which most Americans are ignorant. For a detailed treatment of these facts, read Thomas DiLorenzo's The Real Lincoln or his later book, Lincoln Unmasked. There's also Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Freemen by Jeffrey Hummel and When in the Course of Human Events by Charles Adams. For a book about Lincoln's war on the press, there's Lincoln's Wrath by Jeffrey Manber and Neil Dahlstrom. You can also visit the King Lincoln archives at

Ace on May 16, 2008


This stuff about the war being over tariffs is a complete fabrication, as is the claim that Lincoln never cared about slavery. Pure baloney. I have been checking the supposed quotations that DiLorenzo uses in his books, and every one I have checked so far (about 20) is either a) an outright fabrication b) falsely attributed or c) has been edited to change or even reverse the original meaning.

Jared Israel on May 29, 2008


I thought this was to comment on Spielberg's movie not a forum for the Lincoln hating, neo-confederate diatribes of "puke" (aptly named) and "Ace." You might consider that the southerners, "my dissatisfied fellow countrymen" were the ones who refused Lincoln's proffered reconciliation in his first inaugural address. The war was not about tariffs or state's rights, it was about the south's "peculiar institution" and their belief that Lincoln was going to threaten it. Ace is right when he says slavery was never in jeopardy, at least at that time, but southerners did not believe that. Read Alabama's (or others) Ordinance of Secession and see how many instances of "tariff" you find. That's because they did not secede because of a tariff. They seceded because their "domestic institutions" (euphemism for slavery) were, or at least they thought, were threatened. I understand Thomas DiLorenzo does everything he can to subordinate history to his neo-confederate political agenda as is painfully evident in his second offering "Lincoln Unmasked." Serious Lincoln scholars (whom he disdainfully paints with the brush of "cultists" and "court historians") universally dismiss DiLorenzo for what he is and rarely even comment on his body of work. You can read the Lincoln hate books if you want but their biased view of history is woefully inaccurate. You might be better served to read Donald's "Lincoln," Carwardine's "Lincoln, a Life of Purpose and Power," or Krannawitter's "Vindicating Lincoln." You won't find the blatant vitriole of a Thomas DiLorenzo but you will find a serious treatment of history. Of course there are thousands of other noteworthy Lincoln books, a list of which can be found at Lincoln on line. (Abraham Lincoln on

Sturdley on Aug 6, 2008


The combo of Goodwin's Team of Rivals and Tony Kushner is enough to mean this is going to be a complex portrait of a man in a complex time. Whether or not you think Lincoln was "the man," today's American's don't know a damn thing about history and we need reasons to look back and think even if it is Spielberg and his tendency for over-sentimentalizing and squishy tear-jerking. As far as I'm concerned somebody needs to commission a team of film-makers and writers to make as many films as possible about American history going back to Jamestown and the Mayflower and King Philip's War. People need to know.

rider on Sep 7, 2008


#10 nick just pretty much just gave the best quoet i have ever seen if he eve knows what he posted. That quote defines our country right now and years to come...god were so fucked...jsut got goosebumps readin that

Cody on Sep 25, 2008


I've read numerous sites with comments about this movie, or rather about "facts" that people seem certain of regarding Lincoln himself. One thing is nearly universal, and that is that nobody has read "Team of Rivals" or in many cases any other remotely reputable book by a true historian. Books written by true historians are so full of references to ACTUAL and verified documents in both public archives or private hands. "Team of Rivals" has a section of references that take up about a quarter of the book. Doris Kearns Goodwin does draw some conclusions from her research, of course, but very little of it is fuzzy based on the information available. I'd be embarrassed to leave a comment like 99% of the ones I've read here and elsewhere without having read this or other books by real historians with real references. (and yes, she was sued at one point for including material from others that wasn't referenced, but that didn't make the material she failed to credit any less real or accurate). There's a certain kind of person who relishes in having some sort of "special" knowledge or opinion about things like this. They are often the same kind of person who sends out mass e-mails or postings about Obama being Muslim, etc. While occasionally entertaining (obviously I read some of it), it's also scary that some of these people vote and even run for or get elected to office themselves - Sarah Palin comes to mind!

Wayne on Oct 31, 2008


Abraham Lincoln has so often been referenced as a mythological icon by contemporaries that too often, our culture fails to see the real person behind that persona of 'Lincoln.' After reading scores of secondary works, a single primary volume, and a plethora of periodicals dedicated to some aspect of his life, I have an anxciousness to view this movie so as to see if our contemporaries (Spielberg) can utilize this unique media forum to replicate the man, his time, and his world as thoroughly as possible. Some things I have taken away from my research: he struggled with emotions such as love, attachment, and self-esteem; he was involved in a rather turbulent courtship and then quarrelsome marriage; he loved his children; was moved by constitutional obligations, yet never restricted by its limitations; he expanded the powers of the presidency, and attempted to expand the freedoms/opportunities of all of his countrymen; was a compassionate man, yet a ruthless politician (at least for his day); was a leader of men, but all too often - a poor judge of military aptitude/prowess. Overall, the man known as Abraham Lincoln was just that.....a man. Like so many of his countrymen then as today - Lincoln was befitted for greatness, maybe, because he was all too human, all too much like us.

Jarrod R. on Nov 28, 2008


I can't wait to see the finished product. I'm a huge Lincoln & Civil War reader and I can't wait to see how historically accurate it will be. But with Spielberg directing it I sure it will be great. I hope he did his homework

William Shields on Feb 6, 2009


Lincoln is awesome, anyone else who disagrees on this is one of 'those' people. Besides this isn't a place to state such an outrageous incredibly looonnnggg opinion that nobody will care about or really read all the way through. Can't wait for the movie! Finally! Not that the History Channel and 1930's didn't satisfy when it came to Lincoln but finally a new Lincoln Movie in theaters! Can I get a woot woot?

Margot S. on Feb 7, 2009


I have been looking forward to this movie for years. I have read the book that "Lincoln" is rumored to be loosely based upon. It was really good. It reveals Lincoln's political genious as well as illuminates his magnanimity for which he is known.

laura bean on Jan 17, 2010


The anachronistic WW2 franchise now worked to death, back to ad nauseum Lincoln, and AGAIN with Sally Field. Meanwhile, Hollywood decisively buries the ever unfolding 'EUGENICS friendly' RED Chinese Halocaust ----even as Fukishima too is buried as it burns....

See saw on Apr 29, 2011

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