Will Spielberg turn his attentions to ‘Lincoln’ after withdrawing from ‘Chicago 7?’

Posted by · 11:50 am · August 22nd, 2008

Abraham LincolnSteven Spielberg announced quite some time ago, a year and a half at least, that he planned to make a biography of President Lincoln with Liam Neeson as the 16th American President. Excited about this right away, I sat and waited, and waited, and waited, while he did the latest Indiana Jones film (no argument, it was fun) and then moved on to “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” or so it seemed.

Word is that he has not withdrawn from the Lincoln project.  I am hoping he goes at it with a vengeance.  Liam Neeson was announced as Lincoln with Sally Field as his wife Mary Todd. They seem like roles of a lifetime for each.

When Spielberg throws himself into an important film, there is no stopping him, as we have seen with “Empire of the Sun,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” and “Munich,”etc. “Lincoln” sounds to me the stuff of legend, a film that could be for the ages and might bring the man his third Oscar for directing. Hopefully this one is on the near horizon for him. The story is fascinating and deserves proper treatment. He was a great man who fought to unite the nation and treat all men as equals, with a tragic home life, and finally the victim of an assassin’s bullet.

Please Mr. Spielberg, get to “Lincoln”.

→ 10 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

10 responses so far

  • 1 8-22-2008 at 3:36 pm

    Marvin said...

    I think it’s been his intention to make the Lincoln movie for a long time. We’ve known about it for a quite a while, at any rate.

    But now he’s got that Tintin trilogy in the works with Peter Jackson, and honestly I wanna see what Mr. Spielberg can do with digital. I wonder he’s gonna cut that one!

    And the one I’m truly dying to see him take on is that Interstellar project that was announced some time ago. I think one of the Nolan’s is involved in it but it’s been a long time since we heard anything about it.

  • 2 8-22-2008 at 8:00 pm

    Brian Kinsley said...

    The problem with Lincoln was the writer’s strike – Chicago 7 had a ready-to-go script. I imagine the painfully slow but obviously brilliant Kushner is the reason for any and all delays.

  • 3 8-22-2008 at 10:23 pm

    Mr. Gittes said...

    Kushner’s contributions to Munich were far from brilliant, but that’s just me.

    I want to see Interstellar.

  • 4 8-23-2008 at 8:04 am

    Blake Rutherford said...

    I, too, am anticipating this film. Casting of Neeson seems perfect.

  • 5 8-23-2008 at 8:33 am

    Joel said...

    Lincoln was simply the finest president there has ever been. I think that Democrats and Republicans can both agree on this.

    The casting of Neeson is perfect. And Spielberg is the finest director working (in my opinion).

    I simply can’t wait for this.

  • 6 8-23-2008 at 1:18 pm

    jason said...

    i remember seeing neeson, field, and speilberg do marketing appearances for lincoln a year and a half or two years ago.

  • 7 8-24-2008 at 4:32 am

    John Foote said...

    Indeed Kushner works at a snail’s pace, but when he nails it, he is arguably the greatest playwright working in America. “Angels in America” was easily the boldest, wildest and most extraordinary play of its time, breaking down boundaries and dealing head on with the AIDS crisis and the ignorance surrounding it. Personally I loved the script for “Munich” and did Spielberg not turn it into his coldest film? Brilliant. Since 1993, there has not been another American filmmaker who has shown the growth and willingness to rish as Spielberg. In his sixties, like Eastwood, he keeps growing as an artist.

  • 8 8-24-2008 at 1:15 pm

    Mr. Gittes said...

    I couldn’t disagree with you more, John, about Spielberg’s Munich. Save for the opening (and shocking) scene where the Israeli athletes are murdered, the movie was boring. That is, each “set-up,” or scene where Bana and his crew were about to kill a target, Spielberg couldn’t have directed it in a more boring, drawn-out way. There was no tension; no angst, and no suspense! Perhaps this was due to the insane shooting schedule.

    But what I dislike the most about Munich, and I believe I’ve stated this before, is the Paul Haggis like dialogue written by Kushner. The scene where Banna and his men are accidentally booked in the same safe house with, I believe, some Palestinians (or some other Arab group opposed to Israel) makes me cringe every time. It reminds me of the scene in Crash when Ludacris and Terrance Howard discuss “black America.” I wonder what Roth’s draft looked like…

    Angels in America is good, indeed.

  • 9 10-17-2008 at 2:54 am

    RM said...

    MAYBE (and yes that is a big maybe) the reason the film has been postponed is due to the comments I submitted to several websites last year, after I learned that Mr. Spielberg was going to produce INTERSTELLAR.

    I will copy them, along with a link to one of my original posts below, as further documentation of this situation. (Just in case it becomes necessary to build a case against Mr. Spielberg.)

    BTW – Since my post I’ve learned that Mr. Spielberg has been accused of essentially stealing other people’s scripts or material on more than one occasion.

    I’m not sure why that came as such a shock, but perhaps its because he effectively silenced many of these people legally.
    – The most famous of these cases involves AMISTAD. But don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself…

    ATTENTION: STEVEN SPIELBERG, now that I know that you’ve been accused of this before I will be encouraging my wife to contact a lawyer. But knowing her she’ll probably still want to give you the benefit of the doubt, so I will at least encourage her to try and reach you directly.

    FYI – She did call Linda Obst’s office herself, when she learned the news that you were going to produce INTERSTELLAR, but naturally Ms. Obst would not take her call.

    So you can expect contact from Jean within a week. I hope that you will grant her the courtesy of discussing this matter with her.

    BELOW IS MY ORIGINAL POST, as submitted to several websites last year.

    RM said…

    This is actually very sad news for me. As my wife submitted a script to DreamWorks, which centered around interstellar travel, and directly mentioned Kip Thorne’s traversable wormhole theory and his contribution to Carl Sagan’s movie CONTACT (within the script itself, as an homage).

    DreamWorks held my wife’s script for several months, and then sent her a letter stating that “they had decided to go in another direction”.

    Naturally my wife was a bit disappointed, but when she read about Spielberg’s intention to make INTERSTELLAR a few months later, and learned that he had contacted Kip Thorne and Lynda Obst to write the treatment, she was inconsolable.

    Granted the actual film might wind up being different from hers, particularly since my wife’s script is quite original in theme and structure, and deals with more than just interstellar travel. BUT, she still feels justifiably slighted.

    The good news in all of this is that she has proof and documentation of all of her contact with DreamWorks, her script has placed in several prestigious screenwriting contests, and she both copyrighted it and registered it with the WGA long before ever submitting it to Spielberg.

    My wife has no desire to pursue legal action, at least not until she learns more about the storyline/plot and theme of Spielberg’s project. It’s just a very hard situation to deal with because my wife’s script was a labor of love that was inspired by her desire to make a difference in the world, if only in some small way. And she naively believed that Hollywood is always searching for new writers and great scripts.

    If you knew my wife, how special and gifted she is, and how much adversity she has had to face and overcome just to survive you’d know why this is a very sad turn of events.

    She poured herself into that script, as a way to deal with a horrific tragedy, and turn her pain into something positive, instead of wallowing in it like so many lesser mortals would’ve done under the circumstances.

    …So I’m worried about what will happen to her spirits if Mr. Spielberg, one of the people she truly admires, steals her story. I’m not saying he will, but I decided to write this as another form of documentation, just in case.

    My wife is a lovely and unselfish person, who dedicated most of her childhood and nearly all of her adulthood to being a caregiver to someone she loved dearly who would have been institutionalized were it not for my her devotion and care. – My wife chose to put her dreams and her passion for writing on the backburner, only indulging it whenever she could steal a few hours for herself every week. So no one deserves to be successful more than her, and if there is any justice in this world her script will become a film long before Spielberg’s does.


    P.S. – She is also brilliant, and a closeted science geek with a genius IQ. So if anyone can tackle quantum theory and weave it into an interesting interstellar yet very human tale it’s JB, my wife.

    Posted on May 19 2007 14:15

    P.S. – Here is a link to one of my original posts from last year.


  • 10 6-24-2010 at 9:42 pm

    bunyan 10 said...

    ENDLESS, ad nauseum, pointless, uninspired
    cultural incest from our RED China sellout
    Hollywood —-even as the staggeringly important 60th Anniversary of the virally
    relevant KOREAN WAR is once again ‘mysteriously overlooked’ -i.e. buried…

    Tooooooooooo funny!