Civil War Hollywood (and Burbank)

21 11 2010

A couple of announcements from the entertainment world hit the wires this past week.

The long anticipated, talked about, delayed, postponed, suspended, whatever Abraham Lincoln project by producer Steven Spielberg was again in the news, this time with the announcement that Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis will play Abe.  I’m not really sure how this film will be an adaptation of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, because that book doesn’t read like a film.  At all.  I suspect that the purchase of the movie rights to the book, which was made prior to its publication, was more a PR move than anything else – an attempt to lend some gravitas to the effort.  But I think Day-Lewis would be aces: the guy just doesn’t do anything badly.  He’s the real deal.  And the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum reported on Facebook that the actor and Goodwin toured the joint in Springfield this past Friday.

Elsewhere, word has it that the executive producer of the hit series Lost (Carlton Cuse) is working on a series set in Virginia during the Civil War.  Not a lot of info on this yet, but it’s being described as an “event”.  Whatever that means.  Hopefully, it doesn’t mean that I’ll get really interested in it only to get turned off because I’m never sure if the episode that week will be a repeat, or even if the show will be on that week, or if I’ll have to wait until December for the season premier, or why the fat guy stays fat even after all the food in the Shenandoah Valley has been burned up by Sheridan.  Start the damn show in September, run about 30 new episodes in a row and then repeat them over the spring and summer, just like Gilligan’s Island.  And you can still get away with letting the fat guy stay fat.

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9 responses

21 11 2010
Chris Evans

I was looking forward to Neeson in the role but Day-Lewis really has the potential to be great as Lincoln. Interesting two people from ‘Gangs of New York’ were going to play Lincoln at different times and ‘Gangs’ had a scene with Day-Lewis attending a play that featured a caricature performance of Lincoln in it.

The reason I think that they bought Goodwin’s book is probably the same reason that Stanley Kubrick bought Felix Markham’s bio of Napoleon for a film that was never made, unfortunately. Kubrick wanted to cover his bases for other Napoleonic scholars to come forward and say he got the idea from their works. So with buying Markham’s work he could say he used it for the basis of his screenplay even though it was dramatically different from the book. I think the reason for the producers of the Lincoln movie scooping up Goodwin’s book is very similar.


22 11 2010
Dick Stanley

Just so long as the fat guy is not an infantryman, please.

As for Lewis or Day-Lewis or what-have-you, they’d better do a fantastic job with makeup. Seeing Lincoln as just another Hollyweird clone with perfect cheekbones and gleaming white teeth (and Mrs. L. as matronly, perhaps, but lithe nevertheless) will not be convincing let alone inspiring.

22 11 2010
Craig Swain

I’d like to know who is in the running for Stanton’s role. A good actor could parlay that role into a scene stealer.

Rumor is Nick Noltie wants the role of U.S. Grant….

22 11 2010
Harry Smeltzer

I like Aidan Quinn as Grant. He grows a good beard and looks a lot like him, plus I dig his work. Nolte is way, way too old.

If Ben Butler is in the film, maybe Dennis Franz will get back to work.

I think Day-Lewis can give a wonderful, nuanced performance but I doubt the script will be written that way. I suspect the McClellan character will have the depth of a sheet of loose leaf paper, so Tom Cruise could pull it off.

The old bearded guy on the Simpson’s could play Stanton. Krusty the Clown could play Halleck, as could Stewie Griffin.

22 11 2010
Craig Swain

But Noltie has that one Grant attribute nailed down soooo well!

I was sort of hoping Johnnie Knoxville could play McClellan.

Although he is too tall, John Lithgow might “act” a good Stanton. Perhaps Stephen Root?

22 11 2010
Chris Evans

Yes, I thought Quinn looked very much like Grant in ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee’ but they had Fred Thompson who looked nothing like Grant play him in that film. Then Quinn was able to finally play President Grant in the little seen ‘Jonah Hex’ film from this summer.

I agree that Day-Lewis should give a great performance playing Lincoln. Like everyone else I’m really fascinated by what they are going to focus on. The film will have to be at least three hours long. I think it would have worked even better as a miniseries in the vein of the wonderful ‘John Adams’ instead of a theatrical film.


23 11 2010
Dick Stanley

Krusty would be good, for sure. He could play all the parts. Let the computer sort ’em out.

11 09 2012
Chris Evans

The official teaser of the Spielberg ‘Lincoln’ film is out:

The full trailer will premiere on Sept. 13.

Daniel Day Lewis looks great in the role. I hope it lives up to the hype.


14 09 2012

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