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Honest Daniel: Day-Lewis cast as Abraham Lincoln

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Daniel Day-Lewis is very choosy about his roles. So you know when the two-time Oscar winner takes on something new, it will probably be pretty meaty.

Day-Lewis hasn’t disappointed with his newest role. The actor will tackle the part of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s long-anticipated biopic about the 16th president.

The news, which DreamWorks announced Friday, comes after several years of speculation about who would play the iconic politician. At one point, Liam Neeson was supposed to star in the film, but in August the actor said he was no longer attached because he was past his ‘sell-by date.’ (He’s 58, and Lincoln was assassinated at 56.)

In a statement, Spielberg referred to Day-Lewis, who is 53, as ‘one of the greatest of actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema’s distant future.’

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The film, whose screenplay was written by Tony Kushner, will center on Lincoln and his Cabinet during the final stages of the Civil War. Production is slated to begin next fall, with a release planned for the end of 2012.

The news comes as ‘The Conspirator,’ Robert Redford’s movie about the aftermath of the Lincoln assassination, is prepped for a 2011 release. Meanwhile, another film about Lincoln is set to hit theaters in June 2012. But that movie, directed by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Tim Burton, will stray a bit from actual history -- it presents Lincoln as a secret vampire killer.

-- Amy Kaufman

Twitter.com/AmyKinLA

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