One of the biggest players in Hollywood right now is best known
for his height, his strong leadership qualities and his ability to deliver the Gettysburg Address.
Yes, he is Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. president who spearheaded the abolition of slavery and the resolution of the Civil War, which marks its 150th anniversary tomorrow.
Three different films that deal both directly and indirectly with the Lincoln presidency — including Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator,” which premiered Sunday night here in Washington — are currently on their way to theaters or are in production. For those having a hard time keeping up with which Abe is which, allow this primer to be your guide.
(Video from Sunday night’s premiere of “The Conspirator,” an event attended by Robert Redford, Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Kevin Kline and other stars, also follows after the jump. )
Director: Robert Redford
Cast: Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood, Alexis Bledel and Justin Long
The story: “The Conspirator” focuses less on Lincoln and more on the aftermath of his assassination; specifically, the trial of Mary Surratt, the woman accused of being a co-conspirator in his assassination plot.
Who plays Lincoln?: Gerald Bestrom, though for obvious reasons, he doesn’t exactly have a starring role here.
Status: The film is complete.
Release date: It arrives in limited release this Friday, April 15. Here’s video from the premiere:
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dominic Cooper and Anthony Mackie
The story: Adapted from the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, it’s the completely historically accurate (cough) tale of how Lincoln’s mother was killed by a supernatural force that turned the future president into a vamp slayer seeking vengeance.
Who plays Lincoln?: Benjamin Walker, best known for his portrayal of Andrew Jackson in Broadway’s “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson.”(He’s also the fiance of Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep.)
Status: The film is currently shooting in New Orleans.
Release date: Currently scheduled for June 22, 2012.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis
The story: Written by Tony Kushner and adapted from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book “Team of Rivals,” the film is expected to focus on the battles within the Lincoln administration as the abolition of slavery and the end of the Civil War approached.
Who plays Lincoln?: The aforementioned Day-Lewis. Other cast members have not been announced.
Status: The film is expected to begin production this fall, according to Deadline.
Release date: Tentatively slated for December 2012.