Liam Neeson no longer Spielberg's 'Lincoln'

Landmark/PR Photos

It sounded like such a dream team: Steven Spielberg directing Tony Kushner’s screenplay about the life of Abraham Lincoln, with Liam Neeson in the title role. And now it turns out it’ll be just a dream after all: Neeson said in an interview with Britain’s GMTV on Friday that he’s no longer attached to the project. “I’m past my sell-by date,” Neeson quipped, referring to the fact that he’s 58 while Lincoln was assassinated at age 56. A rep for the actor tells, “That project has never seemed to come to fruition so he just moved on a couple of years ago.” Indeed, Spielberg has been keeping busy with several other projects: He’s wrapped The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn starring Daniel Craig and is now in pre-production on the WWI drama War Horse. (Both projects are scheduled for 2011 releases.) But that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. “It is a film we all hope to make,” says Spielberg’s rep at DreamWorks. “So much depends on timing and all the elements coming together at the right moment. Schindler’s List was around here for over 10 years. It was worth it, wouldn’t you say?” Point taken.

So with Neeson out of the picture, who else could play Honest Abe? Is any other great actor tall enough?

Comments (105 total) Add your comment
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  • bird

    David Straithairn

    • Ann

      @bird, I like the way you think

    • MovieMan

      Damn! Is EW late on reporting news or what? I read this 2 weeks ago and just NOW does EW report about it.

    • Zach

      Too old

    • Zach


    • Suzanne

      Too small, even with the magic of film. I saw him on stage last year. He’s about 5’9″ and thin/light. They’d need Kristin Chenoweth to play Mary Todd Lincoln.

      • Tara

        Sorry Suzanne…me thinks you need glasses. Mr.Neeson stands 6’4″.

      • to tara


      • amylovesnewwave

        She was talking about David Strathairn.

      • @ Suzanne

        David Strathairn is 6′. Check IMDB if you don’t believe me.

    • Tafflander

      Whoopi Goldberg

    • I_Fortuna

      David is about 5’3″ isn’t he?

    • Darin Brown’s Penis

      WHAT IS UP WITH THE ORANGE HAIR !??!?!?!?!?!?? !?!?!?!? !??!?!?!!!! !??!?!?!?!?!?? !!!!! !??!?!?!?!?!??

  • Jason

    Even if it takes another five years, I still think Liam Neeson is the only sure-fire choice to play Lincoln. He has such a commanding presence on screen and playing Lincoln would require an authority that few Hollywood actors possess. Besides, if Minka Kelly can play a high school student in her late 20s, I think Neeson can definitely play a mid-50s Lincoln in his early 60s.

  • meowser

    Bummer; it has to be Neeson. Though Bird has an interesting suggestion w/ David Straithern.

  • Andtromeda

    Jon Hamm, with silky, bushy beard, would be perfection.

    • Brad

      Beat me to it. Excellent choice!

    • Mary

      If they can’t get Neeson, Hamm would be a good alternate!

  • Jenna Fawn

    If my nominating criteria are reduced to height plus talent, I nominate Lee Pace. I know he’s young but that is what makeup is for.

    • Raymond

      Awesome suggestion. Been a fan of his since Wonderfalls. (Though any argument about height is irrelevant since Julie & Julia.)

    • Michelle

      Excellent suggestion. I’m thirding this one!

    • Kidus

      I’m a bit skeptical of Robin Hood, while I liked Gladiator I do think it was otraerved (it won Best Picture!) this looks kind of similar. I think it will be good and entertaining but I’m not expecting much more. Dennis

  • mark

    three words. DANIEL DAY LEWIS

    • Seth


    • Lauren

      I wish I had come up that first! Brilliant!

      • dipshat

        Yes, great idea, looks just like him!

    • Briana

      YES! Another Oscar nod for him as well. The Academy can’t not vote against a President.

    • Suzanne

      Agree. He’s got the features for it too.

    • E

      Yes, couldn’t agree more! He would be brilliant.

    • Sarah

      He’s much too creepy to play Lincoln. Maybe that’s just my personal aversion to the guy.

    • Umi Q

      You called it! Daniel Day-Lewis is officially attached to play Lincoln now.

      • Maria

        09.26.11 at 3:23 pmStinky PeetI don’t think these words have ever been typed in this order before this very momnet:I almost wish this was an M. Night Shamyalan film. just to see what sort of ridiculous twist ending he could stick on it.

  • Kvivik

    Sorry, only Neeson and Pace come close to Abraham Lincoln’s height. One of the notable things about Lincoln was that he stood so much taller than his political compatriots of the time, so if Stathairn was to play Lincoln at 6′, every other man cast would have to be 5’9″ or shorter.
    I’m thinking Tim Robbins (6’5″) would be a viable choice.

    • Brad

      I like this one too!

    • Ruby

      Anyone but Robbins…

      • Alef

        09.26.11 at 5:57 pmBrundlefly SwatterHow isn’t this movie the semi-autobiographical story of one of Gary Busey’s more interesting wietnrs? I say semi because we all know Busey would have crashed the plane himself for kicks and all the rest of the survivors would have been killed to bait the wolves so he bottle-box them into oblivion.

  • mr.smelly

    @mark: brilliant. would defenitely be a step up form that previous movie with the dancing and singing.

  • kynne

    How about an American actor, maybe an unknown from the Southern mid west like Lincoln. Lincoln had a folksy charm. I don’t seen Liam in the part at all.

    • strepsi

      Matthew Maconaughey has folksy charm. Shirtless Lincoln!

      • fireflystare221

        Hahaha hilarious visualization with this.

  • Marcia

    Too bad Sam Waterston is pushing 70. He won an Obie and a Tony nod for playing Lincoln. He would have been perfect.

    • Flyer

      I was thinking of Waterston too!

    • Michelle

      I know, it makes me sad. Waterson’s the PERFECT Lincoln.

      • TV/Movie Fan

        I agree. In my opinion the best actors who have portrayed Abraham Lincoln in the past have been: (A) Raymond Massey (B) Sam Waterston (C) John Huston and (D) Gregory Peck. Henry Fonda was only okay in the role. Too bad Mr. Waterston is too old. My choices are David Straithairn, followed by Daniel Day-Lewis.

  • jeb

    Zach Galifianakis.

  • strepsi


    • Ellen Ripley

      James Cromwell already played a president: George Bush in “W.” He would have been a great Lincoln 20 years ago.

    • Lorena

      nah, those are not my pre-reqs I will go see a movie if it’s marketed very well. If eoneyvre is going to go watch, i will too. I don’t want to be left out when co-workers are talking about it. Visual effects are nice to have but not a requirement. Over 100 minutes and under 150 mins is ideal. Hot chicks throughout the movie is not required but throw in a boob shot once in awhile would be great

  • Evie

    Aw! I love these biopic type movies and with Liam Neeson in the picture, I was pretty excited. But I suppose it’s still good there are some upcoming projects from Steven Speilberg. I will always love his work!!!

  • DT

    Sam Elliott? Sam Shepard? I agree with Bird about David Strathairn as well. It seems like I’ve been hearing about this movie since MUNICH came out. Why couldn’t he get it done in time to keep Neeson? In that way, it’s similar to that Teddy Roosevelt movie Scorsese’s supposedly been planning since THE AVIATOR came out.

  • TorontoTom

    TOM CRUISE (and a cast of Munchkins)?

    • Hypnogal

      Thanks for the LOL!

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