Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Lights! Camera! Secession!

Posted in Media, Memory by Andy Hall on November 21, 2010

It looks like things are falling into place for Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited project Lincoln, with the announcement that two-time Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis will take the title role. The film is based on the book Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner. Both writers are Pulitzer Prize winners, Goodwin for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, and Kushner for the play, Angels in America. Spielberg will co-produce with Kathleen Kennedy, who’s taken that role with Spielberg on films including E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List and Munich. Filming is planned to start in the fall of 2011, with a projected release in late 2012.

I don’t know if this film will be a hit or not, but if it flops, it won’t be for lack of talent — on either side of the camera.

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4 Responses

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  1. TheRaven said, on November 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Quoting results of an animal behavior study published in 1995, “No bird has been more acclaimed as having insight than the Common Raven“. (Note to Dr. Heinrich: the drawing on page 997 is way too pigeon-like, suggest more appropriate art next time around….and “Common” is such an unfortunate Latin inheritance, perhaps you do something about that, too).

    Earlier reports had Liam Neeson and Sally Field in the lead roles, which seemed perfect. Lewis might do equally well (but, how tall is he?). The movie itself has “international blockbuster” written all over it. Lincoln’s fame traveled to all corners of the world in the 19th century. No American has been a more enduring, universal symbol.

    Here’s hoping that Hollywood gets a clue on dozens of other blockbusters that are just lying around, waiting for an enterprising screenwriter to discover how cool our history really is. At the top of my list is the inspirational tale of bold adaptation in the face of extreme adversity. When the American dream was all but dead, an individual known more for wisdom than learning threw caution to the wind and, over just eight days, changed the course of human history. The cinematic story can be found in Washington’s Crossing.

    • Andy Hall said, on November 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      Day-Lewis should do fine. (“I drink your mint julep! I drink it up!”). He’s reportedly a bit over six-foot-one, so between shoes with lifts and careful camera angles, that’s covered. I agree about Neeson and Field, but what about Kathy Bates for Mary Todd? I think she can do the psychologically on-the-edge thing pretty well.

      Tom Cruise would be great for McClellan, but he wouldn’t go near an inferior role like that. Gary Sinese for Grant, maybe?

      Agree as well on Washington’s Crossing, but I suspect the film industry sees Washington as too dull, his story too pat, to be of much interest as a drama. I dunno.

      2012 is going to be a big year for the Illinois Railsplitter on the silver screen; June 2012 is the target release date for the film adaption of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. That should be fun.

  2. Dick Stanley said, on November 22, 2010 at 10:35 am

    If it flops it could be because it’s just another Hollyweird epic. Day-Lewis (or whoever that is in the photo) isn’t near homely enough for Lincoln. They’d probably never find an actor willing to be made-up to resemble the real fellow. Worse yet would be a likely Mary Todd Lincoln, overweight as well as homely. No way.

  3. Bob Pollock said, on November 28, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I’ve been saying for a while now, I’d love to see Russell Crowe play Grant in something. I think Vicksburg could be an epic film if done properly.


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