Redford beating Spielberg to Lincoln
While Steven Spielberg is busy with other projects and his Lincoln film sits awaiting his attention, Robert Redford is set to direct a film about the President in a more round about way. His film will focus on the woman accused of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.
The film will tell the story of Mary Surratt, accused and sentenced to death for conspiring to kill the President, and her son who was also believed to be involved.
It's interesting ground for Robert Redford who does best at the slower, more thoughtful human based films, and so should produce something rather personal and thrilling with this true story.
The Conspirator, according to Risky Business Blog, will tell the story of Mary Surratt, a Confederates sympathiser, who ran a boarding house in Washington D.C. and was accused of aiding John Wilkes Booth and his accomplice David Herold. She allegedly rearmed them at her premises after the assassination and helped them hide and then escape.
She was captured and convicted for being part of the conspiracy and eventually hanged for the crime, however her son went on the run for some time but was eventually caught, tried, but never convicted.
According to the report the story will also look to Frederick Aiken who was a Union hero, appointed to defend Surratt. He eventually came to believe that the woman was innocent of the crimes.
The period around this time was supposedly extremely difficult for the country and having just come out of a civil war it was racing towards one again, now that will make for a powerful backdrop for the film, and something that Redford could exploit really well.
What's also interesting from that is the suggestion that perhaps Surratt was a scapegoat, grabbed because of her Confederate viewpoint and held to trial to perhaps hold the country together. It wouldn't be a great leap for Redford having directed films with rather outspoken and very similar viewpoints.
I wonder even if Redford will be looking to make comparisons with modern day politics and wars?
Apparently James McAvoy is one of the leading choices to take up a main part in the film, which already suggests strong casting, and who wouldn't expect that from a Redford film?