Steven Spielberg 'Lincoln' Trailer: First Look at Daniel Day-Lewis as President (Video)
Here's your first-ever look at Steven Spielberg's film, "Lincoln," starring modern shape-shifter Daniel Day-Lewis as the titular American president.
Lewis doesn't do much abolition-ing, speaking, or even moving for that matter in the first teaser trailer released for Speilberg's film, as far as we can tell. But what we get is none the less stirring. As the camera pans across an enigmatic vision of Lincoln, a soldier proudly recites a section of Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address, seemingly to Lincoln himself. The real trailer will hit tomorrow on Sept. 13, after the Google+ Hangout with Spielberg and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But for now you can get your first taste of footage from the film below.
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"Lincoln," is said to be a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President's tumultuous final months in office. "In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery," says Dreamworks. "With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come."
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln" is produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, the film is based in part on the book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Goodwin's book is a biographical portrait of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and some of the men who served with him in his Cabinet from 1861 to 1865. The book focuses on Lincoln's mostly successful attempts to reconcile conflicting personalities and political factions on the path to abolition and victory in the US Civil War.
While consulting on a Steven Spielberg project in 1999, Goodwin told Spielberg she was planning to write "Team of Rivals," and Spielberg immediately told her he wanted the rights to the film. DreamWorks finalized the deal in 2001. "Lincoln" has been in pre-production ever since. Lewis agreed to play Abraham Lincoln after Liam Neeson withdrew from the project in 2010 after being attached from the start; with Sally Field playing Mary Todd Lincoln. The screenplay was written by Tony Kushner.
According to Spielberg, Goodwin's entire book about Lincoln's presidency is "much too big" for a film, but the director said that the film will focus in on the last few months of Lincoln's life, the ending of slavery, and the Union victory in the Civil War. "What permanently ended slavery was the very close vote in the House of Representatives over the Thirteenth Amendment - that story I'm excited to tell," said Spielberg. He plans to show "Lincoln at work. Not just Lincoln standing around posing for the history books...arguably the greatest working President in American history doing some of the greatest work for the world."
That assessment from the Oscar-winning director ought to quiet critics who find the teaser too mysterious.
Screenwriter Kushner reportedly spent six years writing the screenplay, saying he was very interested in "the relationship of Lincoln to the abolitionist left." Kushner has also said he was impressed with Lincoln's "incredible ability to finesse very, very treacherous political circumstances and continue to move the country forward, I mean, to lead the country forward in the midst of the most horrendously difficult period in its history, I think, is breathtaking and awe-inspiring."
Filming took place in Petersburg, Virginia. According to location manager Colleen Gibbons, "one thing that attracted the filmmakers to the city was the 180-degree vista of historic structures" which is "very rare". Lincoln toured Petersburg on April 3, 1865, the day after it fell to the Union Army. Scenes have also been filmed at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, which served as the Capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln visited the building on April 4, 1865, after Richmond fell to the Union Army.
Lincoln will be released in U.S. theaters exclusively on Nov. 9, with expansion on Nov. 16.