‘Lincoln’ TV Trailer: Times are Tough for Abraham Lincoln

Published 3 years ago by

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln will not be released in theaters until after this year’s presidential election in the U.S., in accordance with the director’s wishes, to avoid politicizing the historical drama. However, marketing is another matter, as a new two-minute preview premiered during the Obama-Romney debate last night.

The television trailer focuses on the personal trials and tribulations that Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) endures in Spielberg’s film, ranging from marital strife with his wife Mary Todd (Sally Field) – to dealing with the guilt that comes with all the carnage and destruction of the Civil War that occurred under his time in office – as well as the shrewd maneuvers and shaky alliances the famous U.S. president strikes in order to both reunite the country and formally abolish slavery.

It’s a more intense and less atmospheric promo than the theatrical preview for Lincoln, trading in John William’s swooning patriotic score for traditional trailer music. There are still plenty of moments showcasing the cast’s performances, with more footage of Lewis scolding his peers, Field admonishing her husband for his shortcomings, and glimpses at other political players – such as Secretary of State William Seward (David Strathairn) and Congressman Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) – as they attempt to reconcile the reality of the situation with Lincoln’s idealistic demands.

Spielberg previously described Lincoln as “very much like a procedural” and less visually-oriented than his 1997 historical drama Amistad. The television trailer, in other words, seems to be a more accurate representation of the film (in terms of tone and style) than the awards-baiting theatrical promo.

lincoln movie trailer1 Lincoln TV Trailer: Times are Tough for Abraham Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis leads the way as ‘Lincoln’

Lincoln is based on a portion of Pulitzer Prize-winner Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” which in part accounts for why Spielberg’s film appears to focus more on nitty, gritty, details and ‘dirty secrets’ rather than a broader overview of history. The script was also written by a Pulitzer Prize-winner in Tony Kusher, who worked once before with Spielberg on the Oscar-nominated drama Munich (another film that served as an eloquent, but grounded, take on a tumultuous historical event).

The cast of Lincoln also includes acclaimed actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper), Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children), Jared Harris (Mad Men), Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire), Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies), James Spader (The Office), and Walton Goggins (Justified). Hence, you shouldn’t be surprised if this film manages to rack up several award nominations for acting, especially when it comes to Lewis’ performance as Honest Abe.

Look for Lincoln to begin a limited theatrical release on November 9th, 2012, before going wide a week later on the 16th.

Source: DreamWorks

TAGS: Lincoln
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  1. Lincoln sounds too wimpy. Should have sounded more gruff and B.A.

    • Yeah, why would we want Lincoln to sound closer to how he actually spoke…silly idea.

    • Seriously? Read a book.

      • Did not mean you Archaeon, rather, the above post.

    • @Michael Says the guy who probably loved Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, lol

    • Abraham Lincoln was a tenor. For him to have a powerful bass voice would untruthful to who he was. Besides at that end scene I think he pulled off sounding “BA” even with his softer voice.

    • Lincoln most probably had a condition known as Marfan’s Syndrome — marked by extra height, concave chest profile, and likely accompanied by a quite high-pitched, perhaps a bit shrill, voice. Contemporary accounts, such as there are, appear to confirm this.

  2. This is going to be friggin’ fantastic! I cannot wait.

      • I’m still stunned by how good this film will (likely) be. I never would have imagined Daniel Day-Lewis in the role of Lincoln, but he fits it so naturally.


        • you are right neeson really looks a bit like lincoln,but lewis is really the better actor and he has got this characterface,i love his performances as -bill the butcher- ot the oil-tycoon from -there will be blood- he plays the tough men from the old aeras so good,no one plays such roles better.




    • Ummm, I wholeheartedly agree, but…yikes. 😉

      • They should just pre-award DDL his Oscar now, and save everybody’s time. God, I can hardly contain myself!!

        • You’re funny…but scary.

    • Yes, and even the resemblance seems wonderfully accomplished.

  4. Well, I think the tv spot works, assuming the idea is to make Lincoln look like a power hungry megalomaniac. Not a big Daniel Day-Lewis fan (though he was phenomenal in There Will Be Blood) and I honestly didn’t think he looked much like Lincoln in this tv trailer.

    • The resemblance is pretty good, but modern makeup artists could have done a better job of creating the imbalance in Lincoln’s face resulting from the mule-kick he suffered as a youth. If you look closely at Lincoln’s photos before the beard, you will notice the slight asymmetry.

    • 2nd comment to Mo:

      Not to put too fine a point on it, the possible portrayal of Lincoln as a “power hungry megalomaniac” is probably an overstatement, but have no doubt that from his earliest years Lincoln yearned to “make something of himself.” Contrary to the popular mythology that arose from his martyrdom, Lincoln was a very shrewd politician who cleverly laid the groundwork for his political ascendency after 1854. He knew how to cultivate his friends and punish his enemies as well as LBJ anyday. What he ultimately did with it is well described by Goodwin.

      • I have no doubt that he was a shrewd politician. But that scene where he is angry and yells about being “clothed in immense power” just really is jarring. Maybe I heard it wrong, but it sure sounded to me like he was saying “How dare anyone come up against me! I am the President and all powerful!” This is *not* what I want to hear from any President.

        Lincoln has never been one of my favorite presidents, but this tv trailer makes him look even worse than I had thought him. Maybe that is a better way to say it.

        • Dude, it’s not about you. Who cares what you want to hear from a President? This is a story, and if the story called for him to say that, then he should say that. You don’t even know the context in which he said it, and you are already projecting your hang ups onto it. Personally, I thought the Ìmmense Power’ line was fantastic. It gave me goose pimples an sold me on the movie.

          Immense Power FTW.

          • lmao It’s a biopic, not a story. Take a chill pill. The whole point is to discuss and evaluate the history. Not to put too fine a point on it, it’s obvious you are totally stoked over this movie and DDL already. Too bad you can’t also have a rational debate about it.

            • Rational? Says the guy who admits he doesn’t like Lincoln, and who objects on a line based on imagined assumptions about what it meant, and how it made him feel because of how he feels Presidents should talk.

              Yeah, you sound very rational.

            • And a biopic is not a story? Your English teacher must be so proud.

              • As I said, a chill pill. This discussion is over until you can actually discuss the film/trailer.

  5. Very dramatic indeed. I thought history was supposed to be boring! :p

  6. Ok…. Lincoln wasn’t against slavery he did it as a strategic move this trailer all he talked about was how terrible slavery is

    • Actually, he was against slavery. He did not believe in it at all. But, it is true that he is on record as saying that if he could preserve the union without abolishing it, he would. It is also true that the Emancipation Proclamation was a strategic/political move, not a “I’m the President and I am going to abolish slavery because I don’t like it” move.

  7. –ZThe trailer is almost as ‘high energy’ vapid –as Leis’s stilted performance,
    or Spileberg’s color by number script.

    • You’re joking, right?

  8. DDL is the best actor alive today, him and Marlon Brando are the best of all time IMO, DDL not winning an Oscar for Gangs of New York was a crime, He played an awesome Bill the Butcher, when he acts he just loses himself in the Charactor, I still think my favourite DDL film is “There will be blood” that movie is a masterpiece.

  9. This is a Spielberg movie? Where’s the cute kids?

    I always imagined Lincoln sounded like Walter Brennan.

    • So, you’ve never seen “Amistad” or “Schindler’s List”?

    • As for Lincoln’s voice, several people above have already explained the reason for Day-Lewis’s choice to sound the way he does.