Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln has been keeping itself under the radar. The film’s release is only a few months away and we have not yet received any official promotional material. Sure, we’ve had sneakily snapped set pics but nothing truly to give us a real taste of what the film is going to be like. And while this new image of Daniel Day-Lewis as the most iconic of American Presidents isn’t exactly revelatory, it does stave off some hunger for a trailer.
As we’ve seen before from the unofficial set pics, Day-Lewis looks to be in his prime as Lincoln. The resemblance is truly uncanny and this could be another landmark role for the actor as well as one which could bring him some serious awards. Day-Lewis is a fascinating actor and although he is considered to be one of the finest actors of his generation, he isn’t that prolific and chooses his roles very, very carefully.
With Lincoln included, his filmography (not counting TV roles) is made up of just twenty on screen appearances. He is an actor that chooses to not actively go after every part he is offered, instead he waits for the right film to come along. He waits for something that challenges him and whatever he chooses is always something of real artistic worth… apart from Nine, of course.
The EW exclusive photo also offers more insight into the film from director Steven Spielberg. Lincoln will mainly cover the last four months of the 16th President’s life and will focus mainly on the decisions he made surrounding the aftermath of the Civil War.
According to Spielberg:
[we start with] Lincoln’s realization that the Emancipation Proclamation, the thing he is most known for, was simply a war powers act that would easily be struck down by any number of lawyers after the cessation of hostilities after the Civil War. He needed to abolish slavery by constitutional measure — and that’s where we start.
The legendary director also gave insight into his process of portraying this figure:
Lincoln had a very, very complicated – and at the same time, extremely clear — inner life. He thought things out. He talked things out. He argued both sides of every issue. And he was very careful in making any decision. As a matter of fact, his opponents and his enemies criticized him often for being impossibly slow to a decision.
Spielberg also commented that the rumours of Daniel Day-Lewis staying in character are exaggerated but on the set, most of the actors were referred to by character names:
I was calling [all] the actors by their character names. That was something I felt was important to establish a little authenticity, maybe even more for me than for them… Daniel was always conscious of his contemporary surroundings. Daniel never went into a fugue state. He did not channel Lincoln. All that stuff is just more about gossip than it is about technique.
Lincoln is looking to be a very promising film for Spielberg. He disappointed many (though not me) with his last feature War Horse and many think that his glory days are behind him. But with Daniel Day-Lewis and a cast that includes Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, David Strathairn and Hal Holbrook among others, and Tony Kushner writing the script, be prepared to see Spielberg enter the critics’ A-list once again.
Lincoln will be released on November 9th.