It seems to be famine or feast with Spielberg. Having kept himself away from director duties for a few years, he now has a rush on. Tintin and War Horse are both due out by the end of the year, with Spielberg going once again for what served him well in 1993, namely working on a big adventure spectacle movie in parallel with a more serious historical piece. As if that wasn’t enough, he is also moving forward with his Abraham Lincoln biopic, Lincoln and has been talking a little about what everyone can expect.
Lincoln was shot on the evening of 14th April 1865 and died the following day and Spielberg intends to focus on the four months leading up to then. Although that feels like a tiny fraction of so eventful and significant a life, it was a pretty busy few months. During that approximate time-frame, he was re-elected, abolished slavery and the civil war ended. Although it is not going to be a Civil War film per se, there will be battlefield scenes, which seems inevitable given the subject matter. Spielberg wants to emphasize the massive accomplishments of the final months of Lincoln’s life, but will release the film at the tail end of 2012 in order to avoid having it fall during the US presidential elections and becoming a polarising feature of what will doubtless be another fiercely contested election.
Casting for Lincoln is almost absurdly rich, including Daniel Day Lewis (as Lincoln), Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Hawkes, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill and David Strathairn. We may have a while to wait, but this one has been fermenting with Spielberg for years and should be another richly compelling historical drama.