Wow, where did all the sudden interest in joining Robert Redford’s Abraham Lincoln assassination flick, The Conspirator, come from? Over the last few days a total of six names have been added to the cast list and they are (in alphabetical order): Alexis Bledel (Sin City), Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla), Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda), Justin Long (Drag Me To Hell), Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler) and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton). The six new additions join the previously announced James McAvoy and Robin Wright Penn.
Being directed by Redford from a script by James Solomon, The Conspirator focuses on the real-life Mary Surratt (being played by Penn), one of the alleged co-conspirators of The Lincoln Assassination, as well as focusing on the man, Frederick Aiken (being played by McAvoy), who reluctantly agreed to defend her in court. The film is different from the other Lincoln-related movie in the works – Steven Spielberg’s aptly titled Lincoln – in that it’s NOT a biopic focusing on the former President.
So who will the new Conspirators play? Well, it’s as follows (thanks to The Playlist, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety for the info):
- Long will play a soldier who lost a limb in the Civil War and is McAvoy’s, “best friend and conscience.” It’ll be interesting to see how he copes with a period drama, as he’s been known mostly for being the guy on the “Mac vs. PC” commercials.
- Wood is playing Surratt’s daughter, Anna, debunking the rumors that she’s replacing Penn.
- Word is that Kebbell has joined the cast to play Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, although his part is apparently not that huge in the film.
- Wilkinson will play Reverdy Johnson, the former attorney general who, as U.S. Senator, is the mentor to the young lawyer, Aiken, and who’s sympathetic to Surratt.
- Kline will play Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s War Secretary.
- And Bledel will play Aiken’s wife, Catherine Morgan.
Suddenly The Conspirator is a film to sit up and take notice of, sporting a killer cast. And I imagine there’s a couple more names to be added to the list, not least the casting of Lincoln himself (although, like Booth’s appearance, I imagine he won’t be in the story that much). I was already looking forward to the project because it’s being directed by Robert Redford (I was one of the few people who really like Lions for Lambs) and it has McAvoy playing one of the leads (he’s really building a fantastic career for himself). However, this latest slew of casting additions just heightens my anticipation.
Bonus: The Conspirator has already started filming in Georgia, and we already have a few set photos! Get a look at some of the cast in their period garb:
For a couple of more set photos, as well as a short set video, you can head over to The Playlist.
What do you think of the most recent casting additions for The Conspirator? Are you looking forward to this movie or is it not your cup of tea?
As stated, filming of The Conspirator has already begun in Georgia, but no release date has been set as of yet.
Sources: ThePlaylist, THR and Variety