Steven Spielberg has been talking about making a film about the life of Abraham Lincoln (with Daniel Day Lewis playing the revered President) for so long now that many of us were starting to wonder if it would ever actually happen. It appears it will – with the director telling the Orlando Sentinel’s Roger Moore that he’s ready to begin shooting sometime after the 2012 Presidential Election.
The filmmaker, who has two films (Tintin and War Horse) due out this holiday season, has already decided on locations and the source material for his tale. When shooting commences, Spielberg and company will film in Richmond Virginia using a script based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals.
On the decision to shoot in Virginia, Spielberg says he chose it because “a lot of the buildings there, government buildings, look like Washington looked back during the Civil War.” The locale will also give the production access to historical Civil War battlefields, but the film -- which will cover the last four months of Lincoln's life -- isn’t focused on the war’s conflicts. “There are battles in it, and being in Virginia, we have access to those historic battlefields. It is really a movie about the great work Abraham Lincoln did in the last months of his life.”
Spielberg then weighs in on the burgeoning 3D controversy and how it might affect his own 3D film, Tintin. Unsurprisingly, the director doesn’t see an issue with the format.
“3D isn’t dead. Nooo. It’s just waiting for the right film to come along that will make an audience want to see it in 3D and not pay the lesser ticket price to see it in 2D. It’s always up to the audience.” This is technically true at the moment – but if 3D were to take off, it’s not too hard to envision a future where most major theaters shift to 3D to accommodate Hollywood product. As it stands now, he’s right.
“3D is just another tool in our shed. It’s up to the audience to discriminate whether or not they think this or that is worth seeing in 3D,” Spielberg says. “Thank goodness the audience always has the final word. In the end, we are all working for them.” Nice to see at least one person working in Hollywood still understands that.
Finally, Moore gets an update on The 39 Clues, a project based on a series of popular interactive kids books. The news there isn’t so promising for fans of the series. Spielberg tells the Sentinel that “Brett Ratner is directing that and we’re hoping to film that next year.” Really? Brett Ratner directing a movie for kids? Does anyone think this is a good idea?