Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Cast of Steven Spielberg's ( Lincoln )

In 2011, Stephen Spielberg teamed with Dreamworks and Twentieth Century Fox to film the war drama "Lincoln." Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, and Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, is portrayed by Sally Field. The movie is based on a biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, written by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The film examines the last four months of Lincoln's life when slavery was abolished, the Union won the Civil War, and Lincoln was locked in a political battle with his cabinet members.

The film "Lincoln" has been in the works for many years. It began in 1999 when Goodwin first told Spielberg about her plans to write the book. Spielberg immediately staked a claim on the film rights. Dreamworks finalized the deal in 2001, and later that year, John Logan wrote the script. Logan's script focused more on the president's relationship with statesman Frederick Douglass rather than on his work. Paul Webb was hired to rewrite the script. The film was scheduled to begin production in 2006, but Spielberg, unsatisfied with the Webb's script, delayed it. Tony Kushner wrote the final script.

The movie filmed for a very short two months between October 17 and December 19, 2011 in Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia. The film is scheduled to be released in U.S. theaters November 9, 2012 and worldwide November 16, 2012.

Spielberg has assembled some of the best acting talent in Hollywood for his film. The role of Honest Abe was originally given to Liam Neeson in early 2005. After his extensive study of Lincoln's life, Neeson, who had received an Oscar nomination for his acting in Spielberg's "Schindler's List," felt he was too old for the part and left the role. Day-Lewis, who won Oscars for "My Left Foot" and "There Will Be Blood," was cast in the role in late 2010. Field, who claimed Oscars for "Norma Rae" and "Places in the Heart," was named to the role of Mary Todd in early 2011.

"Looper" star Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the part of Robert Todd Lincoln, the eldest son of Abraham and Mary. Robert Todd, who had enlisted in the Union Army, came home to visit his family the night his father was assassinated. Tad Lincoln, the twelve-year-old son of Abraham and Mary, is played by Australian child actor Gulliver McGrath.

David Strathairn, nominated for an Oscar for his role in "Good Night and Good Luck," plays Lincoln's secretary of state and dear friend, William Seward. Nine days before Lincoln was killed, Seward was attacked in his carriage by Lewis Powell, one of the conspirators in the assassination of Lincoln.

Tommy Lee Jones, who won a best supporting actor Oscar for "The Fugitive," stars as Thaddeus Stevens, the radical Republican congressional leader who denounced Lincoln on the House floor after he met with a Confederate peace delegation.

Bruce McGill stars as Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. McGill played Jack Dalton on the hit television series "MacGyver." Stanton investigated the assassination plot against President Lincoln.

James Spader, best known for his roles in "Pretty in Pink" and "The Practice," stars as William N. Bilboe, Democratic operative who was imprisoned and then later freed by President Lincoln.

ABC's "Pushing Daisies" actor Lee Pace stars as former New York City Mayor Fernando Wood.

FX's "Justified" actor Walton Goggins takes on the role of Democratic Congressman Wells A. Hutchins.

Gloria Reuben, best known for her role as Jeanie Boulet on the medical drama "ER," plays Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who was Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker and close friend.

Best known for his role as Moocher in "Breaking Away," Jackie Early Haley portrays Alexander H. Stephens, vice president of the Confederate States of America.

Ulysses S. Grant, Union Army lieutenant general and future United States president, is brought to the big screen by Jared Harris, a British actor who starred in "Mad Men" and "Fringe."

Gregory Itzin, who plays United States President Charles Logan in the television drama "24," plays former Supreme Court Justice John Archibald Campbell.

The actor who depicts Preacher Green in "The Help," David Oyelowo, stars as Ira Clark.

Joseph Cross portrays President Lincoln's secretary and assistant, John Hay.

The founder of Lincoln College, Colonel Robert Latham, is played by "Deadwood" star John Hawkes.

Hal Holbrook, nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for "Into the Wild," won an Emmy for his role as Abraham Lincoln in a 1976 TV miniseries. In this film, he plays Francis Preston Blair, a Republican politician who attempted to arrange a peace agreement between the Confederacy and the Union during the Civil War.

"O Brother Where Art Thou" actor Wayne Duvall plays radical Republican Senator Bluff Wade. Tim Blake Nelson, who starred in the same movie with Duvall, depicts politician Richard Schell.

Other cast members include David Costabile, David Warshofsky, Jeremy Strong, Dakin Matthews, Boris McGiver, Byron Jennings, Richard Topol, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Julie White.

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