Just yesterday (from the time of writing this) there was yet another casting update for director Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, the cast of which encompasses just about every other decorated or well-respected American (and British) thespian alive today. However, the film has actually been in production on location in Virginia for well over a month.

We’ve yet to see any amateur (or professional) set photos that offer an early look at the film’s sure-to-be stellar historical production design or cast members dressed in period garb. However, an off-set picture has popped up online, providing a first look at Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln (from the neck up, that is).

Variety‘s Jeff Sneider tweeted recently that the two-time Oscar-winning actor has not only maintained his “Lincoln accent” (ie. the U.S. president’s somewhat infamous high-pitched tone) since March 2011, but that Lewis’ actual name doesn’t even appear on the casting call sheet. Such an extreme method acting approach is quite typical of the man, whose previous attempts to “truly stay in character” including never getting out of his wheelchair while he worked on My Left Foot, living out in the wilderness while he prepared to star in The Last of the Mohicans, and listening to Eminem music in order to play Bill “The Butcher” Cutting in Gangs of New York (not even kidding on that last one).

That’s all to say: it both sounds and looks like Lewis is at it again, judging by all that information and the picture (via Richmond.com) below:

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It’s safe to say that virtually no one was legitimately concerned about Lewis not being able to pull off old Honest Abe’s long-faced, bearded look; likewise, there’s also no reason to doubt that he’ll offer a richly-realized and dignified portrayal of the famous U.S. president. All the same, hearing about the actor’s (brilliant? certifiable?) acting technique is always an interesting experience, regardless of one’s personal feelings about how necessary or effective it really is.

For those who haven’t been keeping up on Lincoln pre-production: the remainder of the film’s cast includes Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jared Harris, Jackie Earl Haley, Lee Pace, David Strathairn, James Spader, Walter Goggins, John Hawkes, Hal Holbrook, David Costabile, and Tim Blake Nelson, among many others.

If that wasn’t a prestigious enough list of names for you – Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic was also scripted by Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Kushner (Munich), based on an earlier draft by Oscar-nominee John Logan (Gladiator, Hugo). The whole basis for this project is the acclaimed non-fiction book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Pulitzer Prize-winner Doris Kearns Goodwin. ‘Nuff said, right?

Lincoln is expected to reach theaters around the U.S. before the end of 2012.

Source: Richmond.com (via The Film Stage)