The “Lincoln” script was written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner, based in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals”. Kushner, Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis discuss the making of the film.
“Lincoln” is a historical drama film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The film is based in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and covers the final four months of Lincoln’s life, focusing on Lincoln’s efforts in January 1865 to have the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution passed by the United States House of Representatives.
Lincoln movie trailer
Screenwriter Tony Kushner Talks “Lincoln” – discussion with Harvard students about writing script
When Tony Kushner started writing the screenplay for Lincoln five years ago, the film hardly had the look of a box-office hit.
No studio had made a movie about the president in 72 years, and when Kushner went to Hollywood to pitch his idea, he presented a 500-page script that alarmed his hoped-for director Steven Spielberg.
Then there was the issue of the casting—could abrasive politicians and Lincoln himself, whom some describe as a cold figure, make an interesting and gripping film?
“I kept writing and I never got any further than January of 1864,” Kushner said yesterday at the Brattle Theatre following a private screening of the film for Harvard students, faculty, and staff, hosted by Civil War historian and president Drew Faust. “I realized that this was simply not a story you could compress in a way that would be dramatically effective. I reached a point in 2007 where I said to Steven [Spielberg], ‘Maybe I should just give up. I don’t know what to do.’”
Lincoln movie script
Lincoln script pdf
Ironically, the Writers Guild of America strike that year was just what Kushner needed. Though unable to work on the script for five months, he said, he gained the perspective he needed to write what may be this year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture. (As of November 30, it had brought in $62.8 million at the box office).
Tony Kushner interview about writing Lincoln script
Lincoln recounts President Abraham Lincoln’s efforts, during January 1865, to pass in the United States House of Representatives the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that would formally abolish slavery in the country. Expecting the Civil War to end within a month but concerned that his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation may be discarded by the courts once the war has concluded and the 13th Amendment defeated by the returning slave states, Lincoln feels it is imperative to pass the amendment by the end of January, thus removing any possibility that slaves who have already been freed may be re-enslaved.
Lincoln movie Q&A with Steven Spielberg & Daniel Day Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln
Liam Neeson was originally cast as Lincoln in January 2005, having previously worked with Spielberg in Schindler’s List. In preparation for the role, Neeson studied Lincoln extensively. However, in July 2010, Neeson left the project, saying that he had grown too old for the part.
Daniel Day Lewis speaking about his role as Lincoln
Lincoln director Steven Spielberg and cast discuss film at movie premiere