It has been announced that Sally Field will play Mary Todd Lincoln in the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie:
“I’m excited to be working with Sally for the first time,” Spielberg said of the two-time Oscar winner. “I’ve admired her films, and she has always been my first choice to portray all the fragility and complexity that was Mary Todd Lincoln.”
The film, which centers on the political clashes between Lincoln and the officers of his cabinet, is based on the book Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which has been adapted for the screen by Tony Kushner. It will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Spielberg.
Spielberg is absolutely right about Field being up to the task; thank god they didn’t hire someone to be the “young and hot” version of the First Lady and icon. I can’t wait to see Field dig into this one. But the best thing about the project is still the fact that it’s based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book.
With War Horse set to be one of this year’s Big Oscar Movies, and Lincoln coming up on its heels, it seems safe to say that our next two Oscar seasons will be dominated by Spielberg. Then again, the very fact that we’re seeing it almost guarantees the opposite. I am going to try to catch the stage version of War Horse in New York in a brief stopover on the way back from Cannes (if I can swing it). It strikes me, though, in reading up a bit on the story, the truly magical thing about War Horse isn’t the story so much as the dazzling puppetry, which will be absent from the film. Is the story powerful enough to carry on without the puppetry? Some who have seen it believe it absolutely will be. We already know it’s right up in Oscar’s wheelhouse (which we can safely count on once again after last year): British accents, period piece, a world war, sentimentality.
What do you think? Can Spielberg pull a twofer?