Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, is as present as ever in current American culture.
Presidential candidate and former speaker Newt Gingrich has been engaging in Lincoln-Douglas style debates, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is out promoting his new biography on “Honest Abe,” and film director Steven Spielberg is in full production mode on an upcoming movie titled “Lincoln.”
The film, which is based on the book “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.
Day-Lewis was recently photographed having lunch in a Richmond, Virginia diner sporting full Lincoln makeup. The actor’s resemblance to the legendary president is uncanny, looking as if he had just leaped from a five-dollar bill.
Day-Lewis has a reputation for being highly selective in the movie roles that he accepts. He has starred in only 10 films over a more than two-decade span, with as many as five years between roles. With four Oscar nominations and two Academy Award wins, Day-Lewis is known for being a method actor who will remain completely in character for the duration of a movie shooting schedule.
In addition to the Day-Lewis and Field casting, Spielberg’s “Lincoln” will also star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, David Strathairn, and Jackie Earle Haley. The biopic was originally going to feature Liam Neeson in the lead role.
The movie is currently being filmed in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, where in April 1865 Lincoln made a visit following the city’s fall and just prior to his assassination.
Virginia supplied $3.5 million and some tax breaks to Spielberg’s production.
“Lincoln” is scheduled to be released in December of 2012.
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