Playwright Tony Kushner, who's been laboring on a script for Steven Spielberg's Lincoln movie for a very long time, is right now taking part in a discussion at a Harvard University Institute of Politics forum panel discussion called "Looking For Lincoln: In his Time and Ours -- A Conversation on the Meaning of Abraham Lincoln." It began at 6 pm at the John F. Kennedy Forum.If the movie is indeed due out in December, there's a strong feeling that it will be nominated for and would likely win Best Picture.
In any event, a longtime HE reader in attendance informs by cell-phone e-mail that Kushner has said "the decision will be made on Lincoln next week" and that if the green light is given the film will be "out by Christmas." That's pretty fast work for a expensive period film that'll use a lot of CG, no? Even if Spielberg passes on Civil War battle scenes.
Kushner also said that Lincoln "only covers two months of his life," my guy says, and that "the first draft covered four months and [was] 500 pages."
Kushner also said that the 13th amendment -- the abolition of slavery and involuntary servitude -- "is a big thing in the movie."
One presumes that Kushner meant that the film will cover the last two months of Lincoln's life, or roughly February 15th to April 15th, 1865 -- the day of his death. The 13th amendment was enacted on December 6, 1865, so there'll apparently be a little skipping around, event- and chronology-wise.[...]
When I spoke to Liam Neeson (who will most likely play Lincoln) in the summer of '05, he said he understood that the film would span the full arc of Lincoln's time in the White House, beginning in March 1861.
This would not be the first time that Spielberg shoots principal photography and has a movie go into post-production at the same time:
This isn’t anything new for Spielberg who pulled a similar rush job on Munich in 2005 when he began principal photography in early July and the film debuted on December 23 that year and went on to earn $130 million worldwide and was nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay. Kushner also penned Munich with the aid of Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).
As things stand right now it is assumed Liam Neeson will star as the 16th President and Sally Field has been attached to play his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.