With it becoming painfully obvious that Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic just ain’t happening we’re going to have to get our Great Emancipator fix elsewhere. Enter Robert Redford, making one of his infrequent trips behind the camera to direct The Conspirator, the true story of the trial of Mary Surratt, the lone woman in a group charged in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Redford’s cast his Surratt, and she’s Robin Wright Penn. Also cast is James McAvoy, playing a character Variety describes as ‘Frederick Aiken, an idealistic young war hero who reluctantly defends
Surratt and in the process comes to believe she is innocent.’
You rarely hear about the other folks in the Lincoln assassination; as America is the home of the lone gunman we tend to focus on John Wilkes Booth alone. Hell, Booth had a guy trying to kill Andrew Johnson at the same time! This is a rarely examined bit of American history, and it’s going to be interesting to see what Redford does with it.