Lincoln vs. His Cabinet

Lincoln, another one of Steven Spielberg’s recent projects, is being highly anticipated by audiences.  (And not just by the history buffs either…)  This biographical drama is an adaptation of the best-selling book Team of Rivals, written by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.  

The book focuses on the Lincoln administration and a few of his top cabinet members.  Some of his members were actually former running mates that he ran against in the race for presidency. The book details Lincolns’ efforts in abolishing slavery and his decisions that helped lead to the end of the Civil War.

Steven Spielberg has said that the entire book by Goodwin was actually much to large for the film, so the film will primarily focus on the last few months of Lincoln’s life.

According to EmpireOnline, Spielberg stated:

“what permanently ended slavery was the very close vote in the House of Representatives over the 13th Amendment – that story I’m excited to tell.” Spielberg plans to show “Lincoln at work, not just Lincoln standing around posing for the history books…arguably the greatest working President in American history doing some of the greatest work for the world.”

In Team of Rivals, Goodwin describes the following episodes of the final months of Lincoln’s life in detail:

  • The fight in the House of Representatives over proposing the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing slavery forever, which succeeded on January 31, 1865
  • The unsuccessful Hampton Roads Conference which took place on February 3, 1865 between Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward; and three Peace Commissioners from the Confederate States of America
  • Lincoln’s second inaugural address, delivered March 4, 1865
  • Lincoln’s 18 day trip to visit General Ulysses S. Grant at his headquarters at City Point, Virginia, starting March 23, 1865. He was accompanied for parts of his trip by his wife Mary Todd Lincoln and both of his living sons. Lincoln also met with General William Tecumseh Sherman on April 1, and later that day Petersburg, Virginia fell to the Union Army. Lincoln visited Petersburg the following day. The Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia fell on April 3 and Lincoln visited there on April 4. Seward was seriously injured in a carriage accident in Washington on April 5, and Lincoln returned to the White House on April 9, 1865, and immediately visited Seward.
  • On the evening of April 9, Lincoln received a telegram informing him that General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. For all practical purposes, the war was now over.
  • Lincoln’s final cabinet meeting on April 14, 1865, where he discussed his plans for Reconstruction
  • Lincoln’s visit to Ford’s Theater that night, where he was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth at the same time that William Seward was seriously wounded in a separate but coordinated attack by Lewis Powell.

You can read more about the novel at Goodwin’s website here.

The major cast list actually includes quite a few actors, you can see them below in alphabetical order:

Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill, Joseph Cross, David Costabile, Byron Jennings, Dakin Matthews, Boris McGiver, Gloria Reuben, Jeremy Strong, David Warshofsky, David Strathairn, Walton Goggins, Lee Pace, Jackie Earle Haley, David Oyelowo, Jared Harris

Filming began Monday, October 17, 2011, and is set for release in the fourth quarter of 2012 through Disney’s Touchstone label.

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