Steven Spielberg Keeping Lincoln Out of Theaters Until After 2012 Election, Adds Jackie Earle Haley to Cast
Posted 09.21.11 by Ryan
Some moviemakers long to capitalize on the political happenings of the day — director Michael Moore's career thrives on it, while George Clooney's drama The Ides of March (set along the campaign trail of a presidential nomination race) opens, perhaps coincidentally, just days before a scheduled debate between the Republican primary candidates.
Not everyone is looking to gain notoriety from the world of politics. Director Steven Spielberg is hoping to avoid any political ramifications with his upcoming historical drama Lincoln. "The movie will be purposely coming out AFTER next year's election," Spielberg told The Orlando Sentinel. "I didn't want it to become political fodder."
Lincoln isn't exactly a biopic, as it will not focus on the entirety of Lincoln's life but only the final months. "We're basing it on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, Team of Rivals, but we're only focusing in on the last four months of Abraham Lincoln's life," said Spielberg. Those months were a contentious period filled with the Civil War and the abolishing of slavery in America, and the movie focuses on Lincoln's many arguments with his cabinet of political rivals, all of whom he hand-picked. "[Lincoln's] "not a battlefield movie," Spielberg explained. "It is really a movie about the great work Abraham Lincoln did in the last months of his life."
With Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field starring as Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, Spielberg is putting together an award-winning cast, one that just added another Academy Award nominee, Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children, Watchmen).
Deadline reports that Haley will play the role of Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the Confederate States during the Civil War and an opponent of slavery reform who is infamous for giving a speech where he said that slavery was the "natural condition of blacks and the cornerstone of the Confederacy." Seems an appropriate role for an actor who just recently portrayed Freddy Kruger.
Haley joins a cast that already includes Tommy Lee Jones as Pennsylvania congressman Thaddeus Stevens; David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck.) Lincoln's Secretary of State; William Seward, Walton Goggins (Predators,Cowboys and Aliens) as Ohio Congressman Wells A. Hutchins; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Todd, Lincoln's oldest son. Hal Holbrook (Water for Elephants), James Spader (Stargate), John Hawkes (Winter's Bone), Tim Blake Nelson (The Incredible Hulk), Bruce McGill (Law Abiding Citizen), and Joseph Cross (Milk) all co-star in unspecified roles.
Lincoln was adapted by screenwriter Tony Kushner (Munich). Shooting will take place this fall in Virginia, and, while there is no actual release date, we now know that Lincoln will arrive sometime after November 6, 2012.