Two respected stars of the screen have landed roles in high-profile, but otherwise drastically different, Hollywood productions. Two time Oscar-winner Sally Field is officially onboard for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, while Michael Stuhlbarg will join the currently-filming threequel Men in Black 3.

Field will play Mary Todd (a.k.a. Mrs. Abraham Lincoln) in Spielberg’s historical drama, after she wraps up her role as Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man. Stuhlbarg, meanwhile, will appear in the second Men in Black sequel as “Griffin” – a role that Sharlto Copley almost snagged last year, but ultimately was passed over for.

Lincoln will star Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th U.S. president and reunites Spielberg with his Munich screenwriter/award-winning playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America). The project is based on Pulitzer Prize-winner Doris Kearns Goodwin’s acclaimed novel “Team of Rivals” and is expected to focus primarily on Honest Abe’s term as president, his passage of the Emancipation Proclamation – and of course, the American Civil War.

Spielberg’s long-gestating project will be one of three Lincoln-oriented pics due to hit theaters over the next year or so, alongside The Conspirator (which arrives tomorrow) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. If nothing else, at least each of these flicks are easily distinguishable from one another.

DreamWorks is eying a late 2012 release date for Lincoln, not so shockingly. With Day-Lewis and Field as the leads, Kushner adapting well-regarded source material, and Spielberg behind the camera, it’s hard to imagine that Lincoln won’t end up being a serious awards contender next year. I’ll definitely check it out when it’s released in theaters – how about you?

Men in Black 3

Stuhlbarg in ‘A Serious Man’.

Production on Men in Black 3 has been rocky so far, between its extended production delay, additional script rewrites, and the loss of would-be supporting player Alec Baldwin (he joined Rock of Ages instead). Stuhlbarg is actually the second star to sign-on long-after the start of principal photography on the third Men in Black, following in the footsteps of Alice Eve.

Heat Vision broke the news about Stuhlbarg – of Boardwalk Empire and A Serious Man fame – becoming the latest admirable character actor to join the cast of Men in Black 3. The film also counts Emma Thompson, Josh Brolin, comedic type Jemaine Clement, and the dynamic duo of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as members of its cast. So despite the production issues and a less-than-promising plot, the sci-fi-action/comedy pic does actually have some things working in its favor.

I’ve gone on before about how (like a lot of people) I enjoyed the first Men in Black, but was less taken with its sequel. So I’ll hold off on saying anything else overtly critical about the third film until an actual trailer is released. Feel free to share you own thoughts in the comment section below, of course.

Men in Black 3 is scheduled for theatrical release on May 25th, 2012.

Production on Lincoln is expected to begin this fall. We’ll let you know when the film has an official release date.

Source: DreamWorks, THR