Today we have some news on two upcoming Steven Spielberg projects: his Abraham Lincoln biopic, and his adaptation of the Mary Chase award-winning play, Harvey, which is also a remake of the 1950 James Stewart classic.
Spielberg has been attached to a biopic about Lincoln for a few years now, with Liam Neeson also attached to star as the former President. The project was recently postponed because of budget and location restraints, but Spielberg still has it very much in mind. He recently spoke to Variety in wake of the news that Robert Redford would be directing a competing film, called The Conspirator (about one of the conspirators of Lincoln’s assassination), assuring us that the competition won’t deter him from making HIS biopic. Spielberg had this to say:
“We are very happy that Redford will be doing this Lincoln movie. It is completely different from what our DreamWorks Lincoln movie will be, and we believe that it will add to the commercial potential of our film. Lincoln as a subject is inexhaustible.”
The Lincoln script was originally written by John Logan and Paul Webb, but is now being revised by Tony Kushner (Munich – which Spielberg also directed). While Redford’s pic is about the woman who was hanged for her part in the conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln, Spielberg’s is said to be about, “the President’s anguish over the length and toll of the Civil War.”
I’m glad to hear Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic is still on the way, because out of all the Lincoln films in the works (along with Redford’s movie, there’s also an HBO project in the works about Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth), Spielberg’s is the one I’m most looking forward to. The director has great skill moving from big-budget blockbusters like Jurassic Park and War of the Worlds, to smaller, more intimate films like The Terminal and Amistad. I trust him to do the memory and legacy of President Lincoln justice.
We learned at the beginning of last month that Spielberg is going to be directing a remake/reimagining of Harvey, which, as seen in the 1950 James Stewart film, was about a mild-mannered man who just happens to be best friends with an invisible 6-foot tall rabbit (I wonder if Donnie Darko director, Richard Kelly, saw that movie…).
When the project was announced, people automatically assumed that Spielberg’s frequent collaborator, Tom Hanks, would be at the top of the list of actors to star. Along with Hanks, Will Smith was reportedly also being eyed for the leading role (he’s also supposed to star in Spielberg’s unnecessary remake of Oldboy) once played by the late-great Jimmy Stewart. However, from the same article that says Spielberg’s Lincoln is still a-go, comes a line that says that Robert Downey Jr. is now in the running to star in Harvey.
There’s no more information confirming or denying RDJ’s possible casting in Harvey, but with his on-going popularity (which was boosted by his role as Tony Stark in Iron Man) and undeniable acting talent, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up getting the role. Along with acting talent, RDJ also has the charm and the likability that the role requires, and it goes without saying he’s a big enough name now (10 years ago, maybe not…) to draw audiences.
What do you think of these two pieces of news: Are you happy that Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic is still on the way? And do you think RDJ is a good choice for the role of Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey?
Neither Lincoln or Harvey have release dates at the moment, although the latter is said to be next on the to-do-list for Spielberg, with a January 2010 shooting start reportedly set.
Lincoln could come after that, or perhaps Spielberg will move onto his remake of Oldboy. But don’t worry, Spielberg says Lincoln still very much on the way.
Source: Variety and ThePlaylist