Daniel Day-Lewis cast as Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln

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The Independent Culture

Steven Spielberg has cast Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role for his biopic Lincoln about the 16th President of the United States (1861-1865).

A press release, posted on media news site Collider, quotes Spielberg saying, "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."

The screenplay for the project, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals, is written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner ( Angels in America). The story focuses on the conflicts among the powerful men in his cabinet and the abolition of slavery and Civil War.

Liam Neeson had been set for the role but the film was beset with delays. Filming is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2011 for release at the end of 2012.

Spielberg's upcoming films include War Horse, based on the World War I novel by Michael Morpurgo and due in 2011, and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, an animated feature adaptation of the comic, starring Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis and Simon Pegg and hitting theaters in December 2011.