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Steven Spielberg Casts the Entire Civil War

The house divided finds its players

Steven Spielberg’s long hoped for, much discussed, and anxiously awaited Lincoln biopic just added a ton of cast members. An entire union’s worth, really.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tommy Lee Jones and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, along with Hal Holbrook, James Spader, John Hawkes (!), Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill and Joseph Cross are all in negotiations to join the film.

David Costabile, Byron Jennings, Dakin Matthews, Boris McGiver, Gloria Reuben, Jeremy Strong and David Warshofsky are also in talks, apparently “lesser” talks than the group listed above.

Of that breathless group, we only know who Jones and Gordon-Levitt are playing. Jones will be Thaddeus Stevens, one of the prime Radical Republicans to lead the Senate during the Civil War.   He supported the first law attacking slavery, and became one of the most determined vicious opponents of slavery.  He’s a controversial figure for the measures he took against the South, but he had a very kind and compassionate view towards the minorities of the day. He’s a perfect fit for Jones, who bears a startling resemblance to him.

Gordon Levitt will be playing Robert Todd Lincoln, Lincoln’s eldest son, and the only one to survive into adulthood.  He served during the war, had a distant relationship with his father, but continued a pretty public role after his father’s death.

Sadly, we don’t know who John Hawkes will be playing at this point, but since he looks like he walked out of the 19th century, let’s hope it’s something substantial.  Perhaps some of you who know the Civil War and Lincoln presidency inside and out can start to figure out who some of these people may be playing.

Any doubts you had that this film would be massive in scope ought to be gone by now.   Just based on the cast, Lincoln looks like it will have been worth the wait.