Steven Spielberg has two movies coming in December, the somewhat-worrisome mo-cap "The Adventures of Tintin" and the prestige picture "War Horse" (which has a darn nice trailer), but he's focusing on his next film, "Lincoln." Beyond the fact that Daniel Day-Lewis is playing Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field is playing Mary Todd Lincoln, we really don't know a lot about the film, so Spielberg was kind enough to drop a few hints in a recent interview. They don't tell us much, but that won't stop the Web from dissecting each and every word.
Speaking with Roger Moore (the journalist, not the actor, although we imagine they'd have a lot to talk about), Spielberg said that "Lincoln" is "not a battlefield movie," although '[t]here are battles in it." That's not terribly surprising -- no one was expecting his film about our 16th president to be a "Braveheart"-style war movie -- but what is more interesting is what Spielberg says that the movie will be:
"It is really a movie about the great work Abraham Lincoln did in the last months of his life.
"We're basing it on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, 'Team of Rivals,' but we're only focusing in on the last four months of Abraham Lincoln's life."
We've long known that "Team of Rivals" was going to be the basis for "Lincoln," but since that book covers Lincoln's battles with his Cabinet throughout the Civil War, it was unclear how wide-ranging the film would be. Well, it looks like it's just going to deal with the finale of the Civil War. Lincoln was assassinated less than a week after the Confederacy surrendered, so it's definitely a film where you'll know the ending going in.
Not that this is our concern, but we're curious how Touchstone is going to market "Lincoln." Yes, it's a movie directed by Spielberg starring Day-Lewis about Lincoln -- lots of nice big hooks there, of course -- but from Spielberg's description his movie sounds more like a pleasure for war-strategy nerds than for folks who love a good old fashioned Hollywood biopic. Honestly, that makes us more interested in the movie, but you never know how audiences will respond.
One thing's for sure, though: It won't be coming out before the 2012 presidential election. "I didn't want it to become political fodder," he told Moore. Good idea -- especially since Obama has cited "Team of Rivals" as an influence on his own Cabinet selections. Also, waiting to release "Lincoln" until December will ensure the movie is front-and-center for awards season. Spielberg may not want "Lincoln" becoming political fodder, but he's probably just fine with it being Oscar fodder.
EXCLUSIVE: Spielberg on 3D, 'Lincoln,' and '39 Clues' [Orlando Sentinel via The Playlist]