McDonnell and Spielberg doing lunch


Daniel Day-Lewis, who won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in "Lincoln", embraces director Steven Spielberg at the Governors Ball following the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 24, 2013. (LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)

RICHMOND — On the agenda for Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s 16-day trade mission to California and Asia: lunch with Steven Spielberg.

McDonnell (R) and the famous filmmaker got to know each other as the governor lured him to the commonwealth to shoot “Lincoln” in 2011.

Their West Coast reunion is not on the official schedule of events released by the governor’s office, but McDonnell (R) let the news slip while talking about his coming trip with reporters Monday.

“I’m actually meeting with some of the Hollywood film producers simply because we had a great win with Steven Spielberg coming out here,” McDonnell said. “Actually, I think we’re having a lunch with him.”

Pausing, he turned to an aide and asked: “Can I say that or not?”

“Already did,” came the reply.

McDonnell’s office declined to release additional information about the planned lunch.

The overseas trade mission, McDonnell’s eighth, will take him and an entourage that includes several cabinet secretaries to Los Angeles, San Francisco, China and Japan. He departs Wednesday and returns April 26.

In addition to promoting the state as a place to shoot movies, the mission is intended to promote Virginia tourism, entice businesses to locate in the commonwealth and tout agricultural products such as soybeans, grain and wine.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.
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