Want to know what Steven Spielberg is going to do between now and the start of filming for his recently announced sci-fi movie Robopocalypse?
Breathe a sigh of relief because he's finally decided to shoot his long-gestating Lincoln biopic - and it's going to star Daniel Day-Lewis!
Dreamworks today announced that Spielberg will start shooting the movie, based on the best-selling book, Team of Rivals, by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, in the fall of 2011, with a release slap-bang in the middle of awards season in 2012.
That means he'll be doing a trademarked Spielberg one-two punch in the tradition of Jurassic Park/Schindler's List and War of the Worlds/Munich. Robopocalypse with then start shooting in January 2012 (for a summer 2013 release).
Just as exciting is the prospect of Spielberg working with the ultra-choosy but uber-talented Daniel Day-Lewis, filling the role that Liam Neeson seemed destined to play for so many years. Remember in August Neeson publicly stepped away from the role, after figuring out he was much too old to play the 16th American president.
Spielberg said: “Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted 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. I am grateful and inspired that our paths will finally cross with Lincoln.”
"Throughout his career, he has been exceptionally selective in his choice of material," added Stacey Snider, "which makes us feel even more fortunate that he has chosen to join with us for Lincoln."
The announcement ties in with a report in the Washington Post yesterday that Spielberg was spotted lunching with Rita McClenny, director of the Virginia Film Office, at Millie's Diner in Richmond, the former capital of confederacy that Lincoln visited in April 1865 right after the city fell.
Aaron Ruby, an associate at Capital Results public affairs firm located near Millie's, spotted Spielberg as he walked in the front door. "I recognized him right away. At first nobody at the table would believe me. You don't don't expect to see Steven Spielberg in Richmond, at best you see somebody who looks like him,'' he said. "I asked a couple members of his entourage if they were making a movie in Richmond and one woman replied 'maybe.'"
No prizes for figuring out what that film was in light of today's press release from Dreamworks:
Los Angeles – Two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis will star as the 16th President of the United States in DreamWorks Studios’ Lincoln to be directed by Steven Spielberg. The announcement was made today by Spielberg and Stacey Snider, Co-Chairman and CEO of DreamWorks Studios.
“Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted 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. I am grateful and inspired that our paths will finally cross with Lincoln,” said Steven Spielberg. "Throughout his career, he has been exceptionally selective in his choice of material," added Stacey Snider, "which makes us feel even more fortunate that he has chosen to join with us for Lincoln."
Based on the best-selling book, Team of Rivals, by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the screenplay has been written by the Pulitzer Prize winner, Tony Award winner, and Academy Award nominated writer Tony Kushner. It will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg.
It is anticipated that the film will focus on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.
Doris Kearns Goodwin won her Pulitzer Prize for No Ordinary Time, the story of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the home front in World War II. Kushner's prize was for his play Angels in America, which later became an Emmy Award-winning television special. He had previously worked with Spielberg on Munich for which he was nominated for an Oscar in the Adapted Screenplay category.
Filming is expected to begin in the fall of 2011 for release in the fourth quarter of 2012 through Disney’s Touchstone distribution label.