I’ve been quiet on the site in recent weeks because of my move back to Savannah, GA to start my senior year of film school. My return to the historic port city has been mirrored by the arrival of Robert Redford’s preproduction crew for The Conspirators. As Devin reported yesterday, Redford has found his leads -Robin Wright Penn and James McAvoy- and I can personally attest that the production is gearing up and well on its way to principle photography. However, one shouldn’t take Redford’s Lincoln assassination film gaining steam as a sign that a Spielbergian Lincoln biopic is lost to us.

Peter Bart (another somewhat recent visitor to Savannah – he was honored at the 2008 Savannah Film Festival) apparently spoke with Spielberg, and the director was upbeat about Redford’s film…

“We are very happy that Redford will be doing this Lincoln movie. It is completely different from what our DreamWorks Lincoln movie will be, and we believe that it will add to the commercial potential of our film. Lincoln as a subject is inexhaustible.”

Let us hope that Redford doesn’t totally fuck things up then. It would be a shame for Spielberg’s project to fall victim if The Conspirators failed for any reason. Fortunately, the story that Redford has chosen seemingly has less to do with Lincoln and more to do with Civil War era politics. I’m reminded of the fabulous first episode of HBO’s John Adams, in which the founding father argues for British soldiers after the Boston Massacre in the interest of maintaining law against (somewhat righteous) mob thought. I’m not entirely convinced Redford and Spielberg’s films would even tread similar ground- The Conspirators doesn’t necessarily need Lincoln to even appear!

Spielberg is still dedicated to the remake of Harvey, and is busy courting Robert Downey Jr. for the lead role. (How many times are directors going to get away with dumb-sounding projects simply by casting this amazing fucker?) Cross your fingers that he emerges from that film with the market still favorable to Lincoln pictures.

Source | Variety