Daniel Day-Lewis will be Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln

In a surprise (but not unwelcome) piece of casting news, Dreamworks have announced that Daniel Day-Lewis will play Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's long-in-development biopic.

Liam Neeson had long been attached to the role of the 16th President of the USA, but a Dreamworks press release, as reported by Collider, has announced that Day-Lewis has nabbed the part.

Spielberg gushed that "Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted as one of the greatest actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema's distant future. I am grateful and inspired that our paths will finally cross with Lincoln ."

It's hard to disagree with the 'Berg. Rarely has an actor been as consistently excellent as Day-Lewis, and he'll no doubt be a fine choice for the role.

There's no official word on why Neeson left the project, which is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals . He had recently suggested that he might not be able to commit after the continual delays.

Another surprise is that Lincoln looks likely to be Spielberg's next movie, ahead of Robopocalypse , as it is due to start shooting in Autumn 2011. We bet Day-Lewis has already started getting into character.

He should probably start clearing some shelf space ahead of the inevitable deluge of awards though...

Source: Collider

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Matt Maytum
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.