Daniel Day-Lewis will be Lincoln for Spielberg

Call him “Honest Day-Lewis.” Steven Spielberg’s previously shelved “Lincoln” biopic, originally with Liam Neeson attached to play the 16th president, has resurfaced with two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis officially on board as Abraham Lincoln.

Spielberg and Stacey Snider, CEO and Co-Chair of DreamWorks, made the announcement today. DreamWorks will finance the film, which is expected to shoot next fall, and Disney’s Touchstone label will distribute, sometime in the final quarter of 2012.

Spielberg will be directing, not just producing, and for the first time with Day-Lewis. The script is based on the best-selling book Team of Rivals, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin and adapted by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner (“Angels in America”). It is said the film will focus on Lincoln’s struggle with the men in his Cabinet to push forward with abolition and ending the Civil War.

Forget the fact that Day-Lewis is very picky about his scripts, choosing exclusively great ones (minus “Nine”), and this combination is powerful anyway. Add that back in and you know this is not just masquerading as film to beat for the Oscars in February 2013 — it is that film. Here’s to hoping they don’t screw it up.


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