Robert Redford Will Avenge Lincoln by Going After THE CONSPIRATOR

     August 18, 2009

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Robert Redford is now attached to direct “The Conspirator,” the story of Mary Surratt, alleged conspirator of Abraham Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. More details about this film and what this might mean for the other in-development Lincoln projects after the jump.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know much about Lincoln. I know the major points about the President’s life but my knowledge of the aftermath that followed after his death is a bit of history that I know little about. I had no idea that it was so interesting but now after reading up on what happened after he was assassinated I can easily see why Redford is interested in bringing this story to the screen. Here is an excerpt from RiskyBizBlog’s report:

“Surratt’s is a compelling story. A Washington D.C. boardinghouse owner who sympathized with the Confederates, she was allegedly part of the plot to kill Lincoln, supplying Wilkes Booth and his accomplice David Herold weapons at her tavern after the assassin had shot the president at Ford’s Theater.

Surratt’s son John was also alleged to be part of the conspiracy. Mary Surratt was eventually convicted and hanged for conspiring to kill the president; her son went on the lamb and eventually was put on trial but was never convicted, living until 1916.

The period immediately after the Lincoln assassination was considered extremely volatile, with the country on the cusp of again falling into civil war; that period will provide a backdrop to the Redford-helmed tale.”

robert_redford_01.jpgI have yet to see Redford’s last directorial effort, “Lions for Lambs” [Matt’s note: I envy Ramses], but the man has directed some pretty damn great films in the past. I’m sure that if he’s able to cast a great actress in the lead that this will be a big awards contender when the time comes. The article also mentions that James McAvoy is said to be at the top of their list for one of the lead roles, but what that role is exactly is anyone’s guess.

Some of you may remember Spielberg being attached to a Lincoln biopic starring Liam Neeson for a couple of years now. What has happened with that film is a mystery since it always seems like it will be the director’s next film but never is. It keeps getting pushed back and was recently pushed back again after the announcement that Spielberg would be directing a remake of the classic film “Harvey” next.

Lincoln seems to be all the rage in Hollywood since HBO was also developing an adaptation of James Swanson’s “Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s killer” with Harrison Ford attached to star but the status for this project is also uncertain. It feels like years since we last heard anything.

I’m very curious to see what will happen to these two projects now since Redford’s film aims to start shooting this fall. Will it kill them off? Will it raise interest and get them rushed into production? I honestly don’t know. I think it’s safe to assume that if the film is a huge hit we will see a sudden interest again in the other two projects. I just hope we’ll one day see Spielberg’s biopic.

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