Kevin McFadin Illustration
Super-famous and -talented director Steven Spielberg begins filming his Honest Abe biopic, Lincoln , starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field, in the Richmond area this fall.
Here's what we know about the movie, due out next year: Locations around Richmond and Petersburg and the region's 19th-century architecture will be front and center. Some locals will be hired to join the crew. And Virginia gave Hollywood a lot of incentive to film here, which I'm guessing was more than just "free ice cream whenever you want."
Lincoln is a big win for Richmond and Virginia, and it gives hope to people who a) have beards and b) are really tall, that they, too, may one day have a movie made about them.
Some other "facts" about the filming:
- Daniel Day-Lewis has a reputation for staying in character even when he's off set. So if you see a tall guy in a top hat walking around downtown or scribbling notes about Gettysburg on the back of an envelope, remember: It is not really Abraham Lincoln.
- Several places in the Richmond area could be used as sets, including Centre Hill Mansion in Petersburg, and, I'd imagine, open fields and buildings with columns. And, noting the 16th president's penchant for fricasseed chicken and biscuits, Lee's Chicken could be a strong bet.
- A few stick-in-the-mud lawmakers have expressed dismay that the state has given millions to a movie while the Commonwealth is facing financial woes. So, if Spielberg needs extras to play the roles of whiny, bickering politicians, we've got some.
- I am going to try to get a screenplay I've been working on in front of Spielberg. It's about a big director who shoots a movie in a mid-sized city and is constantly pestered by some annoying writer who won't stop asking the director to read his script.
- Tommy Lee Jones will portray Thaddeus Stevens, the Republican leader who pushed for the Civil War and also hunted down accused wife-killer and fugitive Lincoln.
- The National could fill in for Ford's Theatre, which is, of course, where Lincoln and his girlfriends saw Titanic nine times in a week.
- Spielberg has stated publicly he will film "most of" the car-chase and explosion scenes downtown.