Steven Spielberg isn’t messing around with LINCOLN. Long in development, the film is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s legendary Team of Rivals and is written by Tony Kushner. Filling out the cast is Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Hawkes, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Walton Goggins and Jackie Earle Haley, just to name a few. Holy crap, right? It’s embarrassing how great this ensemble is.
Now Spielberg is adding another accomplished actor to the cast and he’s playing a pivotal role. According to Variety, Jared Harris (of MAD MEN and I SHOT ANDY WARHOL fame) will play Union general Ulysses S. Grant. Grant, who would eventually become the 18th President of the United States, was a close confidant of Lincoln and helped turn the tide of the war. At first ridiculed by the North, Grant’s genius tactics would eventually turn him into a hero of the nation.
Grant and Lincoln grew very fond of each other. In fact, the President invited Grant and his wife to attend Ford’s Theater on the fateful night he was assassinated. Grant declined and chose to return home. Imagine the ramifications on history if he decided to attend.
Spielberg’s LINCOLN will be about the 16th president and his close advisors as they strive to end the bloody Civil War. Considering Grant’s influence on the conflict, you can bet you’ll see a lot of Harris.
LINCOLN will begin production soon.