Liam Neeson, set to star as president and unfortunate theatergoer Abraham Lincoln.
Well, now that Stephen Spielberg’s got that little Indiana Jones thing out of the way (please let the rumors be wrong…please don’t let that movie suck…), what’s up next?
First up for the director is Tintin, shooting in the fall. Now Variety is reporting that after that Spielberg will finally get to his long-rumored Abraham Lincoln-Civil War project.
For a little while it had looked like Spielberg would be diverted by an Aaron Sorkin-scripted project about the trial of the Chicago Seven after the post-1968 Democratic convention riots, but the writers’ strike kept necessary rewrites from happening on that one (I’m not a Sorkin fan so I will take this opportunity to snarkily comment that those rewrites were probably of the utmost necessity). The undoubtedly neatly written script by Tony Kushner has the Lincoln project ready to go perhaps in early 2009, immediately post Tintin. Liam Neeson has been hanging around waiting for this one to get started so he could take his shot at playing president 16.
Variety says that Spielberg’s Lincoln project is “informed by the biography by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “The Uniter: The Genius of Abraham Lincoln.” Unfortunately, not only did Doris Kearns Goodwin not write any book by that name, but I coudn’t find any book with that title listed in the New York Public Library catalogue or Amazon. Is it an about-to-be-published book? But that doesn’t make sense if the project’s been in development for a few years. Spielberg’s powerful, but I don’t know if historians are sending him manuscript pages. Or did the writer of the article just mean the rather well-known 2005 book by Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. If so, that’s some pretty poor fact-checking and copyediting. Should I lose my faith in you, Variety?