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Honest Daniel: Day-Lewis cast as Abraham Lincoln

November 19, 2010 | 11:38 am

GNNRMACA31XE2DCA6E5BCRCALZRVOHCAPHO5EJCABB9ZY2CAOHPZSVCA1JULEWCAJ7WHUBCAZEK1RYCANK07HSCANRW19PCA4MYZJOCABD6SMKCA3T6UQ1CAXTJ44ZCAYKNBBXCALWA2U0CAMBWMY3CA9SM7UW Daniel Day-Lewis is very choosy about his roles. So you know when the two-time Oscar winner takes on something new, it will probably be pretty meaty.

Day-Lewis hasn't disappointed with his newest role. The actor will tackle the part of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's long-anticipated biopic about the 16th president.

The news, which DreamWorks announced Friday, comes after several years of speculation about who would play the iconic politician. At one point, Liam Neeson was supposed to star in the film, but in August the actor said he was no longer attached because he was past his "sell-by date." (He's 58, and Lincoln was assassinated at 56.)

In a statement, Spielberg referred to Day-Lewis, who is 53, as "one of the greatest of actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema's distant future."

The film, whose screenplay was written by Tony Kushner, will center on Lincoln and his Cabinet during the final stages of the Civil War. Production is slated to begin next fall, with a release planned for the end of 2012.

The news comes as "The Conspirator," Robert Redford's movie about the aftermath of the Lincoln assassination, is prepped for a 2011 release. Meanwhile, another film about Lincoln is set to hit theaters in June 2012. But that movie, directed by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Tim Burton, will stray a bit from actual history -- it presents Lincoln as a secret vampire killer. 

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: A photograph of Abraham Lincoln taken on Feb. 5, 1865. Credit: The Huntington Library


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I played Lincoln in college(USC) and was fascinated by the man while i studied historical documents on him. I think DDL will be a fantastic Lincoln and look foward to watchinh him portray this icon.

Good! Sounds great!

Wow, Lincoln as a secret vampire killer. What an absolutely horrible idea. A Spielberg biopic on Lincoln sounds like a homerun though. Even so, someone should do a movie about the death of the original idea in Hollywood.

It could be a fascinating movie. I find Mr. Spielberg’s characterization of Daniel Day-Lewis not unlike my own understanding of Miranda Cosgrove, as an actress able to conjure timeless qualities as she desires. I imagine if Spielberg, Kushner and Day-Lewis reflected well on the latter period of the war, they would realize that even then Abraham Lincoln’s relations with women were complicated, and influenced the ways in which he conceived the world.

At MARKTbeauty.com, Ms. Cosgrove expresses a vision of what it is to be a woman never available, not even in the imagination, to Abraham Lincoln. His “purgatory” was the result of the impossibility of certain relations existing between men and women, even after Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication Of The Rights Of Women” had shed so much light on the abyss separating us one from another.

Milton’s “Areopagitica,” although a necessary, but flawed, attempt to allow unfettered access to ideas, in the name of virtue, contained seeds which prevented free exchange of ideas. The internet, as strange as it may seem, dissolved certain barriers. It is no surprise that Ms. Cosgrove appear now. At a time when one’s character can be subject to any temptation you please, including flattery, without the repercussions experienced by Wollstonecraft, mistakes are not fatal, nor necessarily public.

The subjugation of women must have concerned Abraham Lincoln. Had he known Miranda Cosgrove, I imagine his heart would have been infinitely lighter, and his burdens no reason for depression. I think one reads Dicken’s “Slavery,” and Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” with understanding, only if equality has been achieved.

Joy to you, Rose.


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