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Spielberg's 'Lincoln:' Daniel Day Lewis was not first choice for lead

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
10/10/2012 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Liam Neeson, now ensconced in action pics, dropped out after too many delays

Previews of Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" reveal a stately historical account of our 16th president's final days in office as he signs the 13th Amendment, banning slavery. Few doubt that Daniel Day Lewis will not receive an Academy Award nomination for his work as President Lincoln, although, ironically - Lewis was not Spielberg's first choice.

Word is also out that 'Lincoln,' is much more of a dialogue-heavy chamber drama than the sweeping epic you might expect from the trailer. Star Daniel Day-Lewis reportedly delivers a masterful, mesmerizing performance.

Word is also out that "Lincoln," is much more of a dialogue-heavy chamber drama than the sweeping epic you might expect from the trailer. Star Daniel Day-Lewis reportedly delivers a masterful, mesmerizing performance.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
10/10/2012 (4 years ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Liam Neeson, Steven Spielberg, Abraham Lincoln, historical accounts


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It was Liam Neeson, who had worked with Spielberg previously in "Schindler's List," was set to play Abraham Lincoln. The "Lincoln" project then fell into "development hell," where a film is pushed to the back burner due to a busy director attending to too many other productions.

Many were uncertain about Spielberg's "Lincoln" project, as it closely resembled one of the director's rare box office failures, the Civil War drama "Amistad."

Spielberg had acquired the rights to Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" in 2001. Neeson was originally set to play Lincoln - but Spielberg got bogged down with many other productions.

Like many top directors, Spielberg was attached to a number of films simultaneously. Between the time that he got the rights to Goodwin's book and now, Spielberg has directed eight movies and produced around two dozen while at the same time helming his production company Dreamworks.

In the interim, Neeson apparently decided he no longer wanted to be a part of the project. He told a British chat show, "I'm not actually playing Lincoln now. I was attached to it for a while, but it's now -- I'm past my sell-by date." Lincoln was 56 years old at the time of his assassination, at Neeson is now 60 years old.

Furthermore, Neeson is apparently no longer interested in making highbrow fare seen by too few people. His last few films, "Taken 2," "The A-Team," and "Battleship" have been all money-making action blockbusters designed for the popular film going audience.

Neeson's broad forehead and prominent nose certainly resembles Honest Abe's. Neeson is also the same height as Lincoln at 6-foot, four inches. However, he's far too robust to play Lincoln, described by many as being as thin as a "beanpole."

Spielberg was adamant that the film be as historically precise as possible. "We would have been a little bit criticized had we done Lincoln the way Disney does him at Epcot Center," said the director during the post screening question and answer period.

Word is also out that "Lincoln," is much more of a dialogue-heavy chamber drama than the sweeping epic you might expect from the trailer. Star Daniel Day-Lewis reportedly delivers a masterful, mesmerizing performance. 

Hopefully, the film will drive out the lingering bad memories of one of the worst films of all time that visited theaters earlier this year on a similar theme - "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter."

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