Of the complicated historical character, Spielberg tells EW, "Lincoln had a very, very complicated -- and at the same time, extremely clear -- inner life. He thought things out. He talked things out. He argued both sides of every issue. And he was very careful in making any decision. As a matter of fact, his opponents and his enemies criticized him often for being impossibly slow to a decision."
Lincoln focuses on the last four months of the president's life and the political strategizing he undertook at the close of the Civil War to ensure that slavery would be forever outlawed. The film also stars David Strathairn as Lincolns loyal Secretary of State, William Seward; Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gulliver McGrath as Lincolns sons, Robert and Tad; Sally Field as his wife Mary Todd Lincoln; and Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, a radical member of Lincolns own party.
"Our movie is really about a working leader who must make tough decisions and get things done in the face of overwhelming opposition," says Spielberg.