Steven Spielberg Dishes Details on 'Lincoln' and the Status of 3D Film

September 20, 2011
Source: Orlando Sentinel

Steven Spielberg

The end of year will be quite busy for Steven Spielberg as both his films The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and War Horse will hit theaters within one week of each other. But the end of 2012 will be equally as exciting as his long-gestating film Lincoln with Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th President of the United States of America. Spielberg recently spoke to the Orlando Sentinel (via The Film Stage) and he said the film will come out after the 2012 presidential election because he "didn't want it to become political fodder." He also opened up about the time-span in Lincoln's life that his film covers. More below!

While the film is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's detailed book Team of Rivals, Spielberg says, "We’re only focusing in on the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life." And while there will be some Civil War battles throughout the film, the director says his film is "not a battlefield movie. There are battles in it, and being in Virginia, we have access to those historic battlefields. It is really a movie about the great work Abraham Lincoln did in the last months of his life." Surely there's plenty of period battles from Spielberg coming from War Horse, but Lincoln sounds like more of a character driven drama than anything.

Moving away from the talk of period dramas, Spielberg also had some comments about the status of 3D in film, and whether or not the technology has already run its course with audiences. Quite smartly, he notes that it will be the audience that decides which films they want to see in 3D, and he seems quite thankful for that:

"3D isn’t dead. Nooo. It’s just waiting for the right film to come along that will make an audience want to see it in 3D and not pay the lesser ticket price to see it in 2D. It’s always up to the audience. 3D is just another tool in our shed. It’s up to the audience to discriminate whether or not they think this or that is worth seeing in 3D. They decide Avatar' is worth a few bucks more in 3D. They decide if ‘Cars 2’ is worth a few bucks less in 2D. Audiences made those choices – ‘Avatar’ in 3D, ‘Cars 2’ in 2D. And that’s the way it’s going to be from now on. Thank goodness the audience always has the final word. In the end, we are all working for them.”

Hopefully that means studios will be more weary of which films need to get a 3D release, especially if that means the film will be converted to 3D rather than being natively shot in 3D. Of course, with films like The Great Gatsby and possible Les Miserables getting the 3D treatment, it might be hard to tell which films audiences truly want to experience in the third dimension. Animated films, like The Adventures of Tintin, will always look stunning in 3D, but live-action films, especially those converted, still have some work to do in order to get audiences to fork over the extra dough for a ticket. What do you think?

Find more posts: 3D News, Development, Movie News



I like 3D when it actually adds to the immersion of the film, but I hate wearing those glasses, and most of the time the extra few bucks just isn't worth it. As a general rule I avoid any films that have been converted.

Phillip Gockel on Sep 20, 2011


I'm still annoyed with the 3-D hard on Hollywood has. Its annoying and distracts from the film. Keep 3-D sure, just don't make it the norm for cinema. I saw Avatar in IMAX 3-D was was thoroughly unimpressed.

Xerxexx on Sep 20, 2011


that was the best way to experience it for most people. Sorry you feel that way. 

Jaiyson on Sep 21, 2011


And I hope those people enjoyed it.

Xerxexx on Sep 21, 2011


cant wait for the Lincoln flick.

Posthuman on Sep 20, 2011


The audiance choose 3D for Avatar because 1) They don't know anything about effects and confused the CG (which was impressive....I guess...) with 3D or 2) They are film people and for some reason they convinced themselves that the still shitty 3D was actually good...

Al on Sep 20, 2011


As of today 3D is only good for animation films IMO.

Davide Coppola on Sep 20, 2011


Wow! Somebody here sure hates 3D and being a whiny bitch about it. The audience has a choice to see it either way. Some 3D movies are good and others become unnecessary. But I don't go screaming about it just because they exist. Jeeeeeesus!

Jedibilly on Sep 21, 2011


I agree there's a lot of whiners when it comes to 3D on this site. It seems like there's even certain people here who just wait for an article to mention 3D at all just so they can pounce on it and let everyone know how they feel about 3D for the thousandth time. And sadly this still isn't enough for some of them. Some of them, and I'm looking at Xerxexx right now, even identify themselves on this site by what they hate.  How sick is that? They're so preoccupied with how much they hate something that they make it the subject matter in the little tag next to their chosen commenter name. Not that I'm saying people shouldn't be allowed to do that, but think of how that would look in a real life situation, "Hi I'm Paul, I hate this, this, and this", such a fucking turn off. 

Awtan90 on Sep 21, 2011


Atwan my tag line was a stab at Mr. Billington use of "Glorious" 3-D" its there for fun, but it takes my stance on 3-D and lets people know that I cannot stand it, sorry if that bothers you.  I've been anti-3-D since the gimmick kicked up again. I've been unimpressed with it that I literally will comment on any and all articles pertaining to said gimmick. That being said, if you enjoy 3-D then by all means pay extra to experiece it...I am just against it becoming the norm for cinema, which is what pro-3-D people are pushing. I'm not attempting to turn anyone on, this is a website that I enjoy using due to Billington and Friends reporting on films and future projects, if my comments and/or tag line bother you then by all means call me out, I'll answer back politely. If I may ask...what is sick about it?

Xerxexx on Sep 21, 2011


First of all, you could have summed up the first two paragraphs by saying "You're right about me." Second I'm not trying to call anyone out. I just picked you as an example because you're the one that makes your anti- 3D position the most obvious on this site. I'm just expressing my frustration with often looking at an article that talks about a bunch of different stuff including 3D and then finding the comment board flooded with anti 3D garbage just because 3D is mentioned. This article isn't the best example because 3D is one of the main topics, but there have been plenty of instances in the past where 3D is simply mentioned offhand and this occurs. We get it guys you're pretentious film aficionados, 3D is trashing the industry blah blah blah. Personally you guys are making me hate 3D because I'm tired of reading the same exact bullshit from you guys every time it's mentioned. What's sick about identifying yourself by what you hate?  It's sick because you can only have one tag/quote/whatever the hell you call it, and  the thing you thought was most important for people to know or the only thing you could think of was your hate for something.  It just demonstrates that you let the hate you feel for 3D override any positive thing you could have chosen like a favorite movie quote. 

Awtan90 on Sep 21, 2011


I felt the need to elobrate.  Perhaps it is time to change my tag, but it will take time to find the perfect replacement. My opinion on 3-D should have any affect on your opinion on the matter. Its the stance I've decided to take. I hardly think my stance on 3-D really matters, and I seriously doubt my opinion on the world of film matters as well. Any article with 3-D will be met with pro and anti 3-D comments, that has to be expected and its not going to stop. Watch and enjoy 3-D if it entertains you but don't expect everyone to share your point of view, nor should I expect others to share mine. I like that you challenged me, I've have relative free reign on expressing my hate for the gimmick, so thank you. My tag may change, keep an eye out.

Xerxexx on Sep 21, 2011


Avatar had barely any 3D in it, that's how our eyes were able to tolerate 3 hours of it. I would flip up my glasses periodically only to realize that the image was 2D. The 3D was only dialed in for certain key shots. The rest of the time it was either very mild or non-existent. I'll never pay the high ticket price to see it in 3D again. 

JewAmericano on Sep 21, 2011


I'm actually really impressed with Spielberg's decision to wait until after the election to release this movie. It's a sign of maturity in what I feel is an industry that seems to be full of immature people at times. I feel like other directors would have scheduled a release date to do just the opposite so they could attempt to sway an election to their preference. 

Awtan90 on Sep 21, 2011


Most converted films look like crap, but a few worked out for me, Thor, Captain America and Voyage of the Dawn Treadder. Of course, all three avoided excessive pop outs, but I am finding some people like the pop out? I will agree that if 3D is going to last than they films need to be shot in 3D and not converted. I do worry that films like Clash of the Titans killed this wonderful new tech in it's infancy... I mean most didn't go see Cap or Thor in 3D so there is still the perception that converted 3D looks bad. But also Hollywood should avoid letting the format get eaten alive by B-grade stinkers like Shark Night. I just spent $700 on a 3D TV and I would like content to justify the purchase. It's a great TV (Sony) and the theater glasses work for it so I don't have to spend an insane amount for 3D but there's a few things Hollywood needs to do to turn this around 1) Stop converting the crap films 2) Make sure converted films aren't too dark to see (Harry Potter) 3) eliminate the surcharge 4) stop charging $40-50 the 3D blu ray movies (End the bundles, I only need one version of the film.) 3D doesn't have to die, I wrote about saving it in greater detail here:

Daniel Anthony Moir on Sep 21, 2011


The back and forth on here is hilarious. Spielberg is right. The audience will decide 3D's fate. Pretty simple really. 

Aaron Nagler on Sep 22, 2011

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