May 24, 2017

Daniel Day-Lewis meets with Lincoln biographer for Spielberg’s drama

By Sean O’Connell It sounds like Daniel Day-Lewis actually may be playing Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s planned biopic.

Oh, I know that deal was reported days ago on this site. But we have run so many Spielberg-Lincoln stories over the years that I take each one of them with a wheelbarrow full of salt. Ask Liam Neeson about his involvement with “Lincoln” if you ever bump into him on the set of his latest action thriller.

But Day-Lewis, who is the latest actor to be linked to the role of our nation’s 16th president, reportedly met with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in Illinois to tour several Lincoln-related sites and learn more about the man. Goodwin, of course, documented Lincoln’s history in “Team of Rivals,” a 2005 book about the president and his cabinet members. Screenwriter Tony Kushner reportedly relied heavily on Goodwin’s book when building his own script.

So Day-Lewis looks like he’s going to go ahead with this. And that’s fantastic. He’s an incredible actor, and Lincoln is a complex role that should challenge Day-Lewis’ considerable range.

But a lot can happen between now and next fall, when Spielberg says he’ll begin filming “Lincoln.” The director has gotten cold feet before when it comes to this project. “Lincoln,” however, sounds like the type of dramatic material Spielberg likes to balance his popcorn thrillers, and he’ll be coming to this project right after “Robopocalypse.” The stars might actually be aligning. More on “Lincoln” as it develops.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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