Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' adds team of rivals: Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Hawkes


Image Credit: Ray Mickshaw/; Jeff Vespa/

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, based on the Doris Kearns Goodwin book Team of Rivals, already has Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field as the Civil War president and his First Lady.

Now it’s adding the team.

Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook, James Spader and John Hawkes are in talks to co-star in the movie, which focuses on the disparate group of political figures Lincoln chose to sit in his cabinet, drawing strength from the candor and differences of opinion.

DreamWorks partners Spielberg and Stacey Snider confirmed the actor discussions for the film, which starts shooting this fall for a planned release in late 2012.

Jones would plays congressman Thaddeus Stevens, a Pennsylvania politician and abolitionist who supported Lincoln and the war effort to keep the Confederacy as part of the United States, but afterward opposed Lincoln’s moderate handling of the South and pushed for military occupation.

Gordon-Levitt (currently prepping to shoot The Dark Knight Rises) co-stars as Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln, the eldest of four boys, and the only one to survive into adulthood.

It’s unclear who Spader, Holbrook and Hawkes might play, but DreamWorks says none of them is assassin John Wilkes Booth — though, to be honest, doesn’t Hawkes, the Oscar-nominee for Winter’s Bone, kind of look the part? Just saying….

Booth and the assassination may not even be part of the movie, which focuses more on Lincoln’s life in the White House, less so his death.

Some other memorable character actors are also in talks for the movie: O Brother Where Art Thou‘s Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill (Animal House, The Insider) and Joseph Cross (Milk, Running With Scissors).

For more, follow Anthony Breznican on Twitter: @Breznican

Read more:
‘Lincoln’ gets its Mary Todd: Sally Field
Daniel Day-Lewis to play President Lincoln in Steven Spielberg biopic
Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’: Could this be the most awards-laden cast ever?

Comments (26 total) Add your comment
  • a

    True, but Booth was 26 when he assassinated Lincoln and Hawkes is 51. I think Spielberg is savvy enough to cast someone closer to Booth’s age.

  • vin

    For Booth, it should be Shia Labeuf or the guy from the social network that played eduardo (can’t remeber the name….sorry guys).

    • hi

      His name is andrew garfield lol. Both r good choices though.

    • MB

      Please, no Shia.

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    For a biopic on Lincoln it’s kind of necessary to have the assassination, it makes the story of him so tragic. He sacrificed and did so much to restore the Union and when his dream was finally coming to fruition…he was murdered.

    • DFSF

      That’s patently untrue.

    • DBM

      Except, Team of Rivals is about Lincoln’s choice of cabinet members… not about his assassination.

  • Liz

    JGL is getting so much work it’s ridiculous.

    • tvgirl48

      As he rightly should. It’s great to see a good actor get lots of work, instead of ones like a certain Transformers actor mentioned above.

      • Grubi

        Shia gets a lot of flack, but I really don’t think he’s that bad. He’s not as good as Gordon-Levitt, but he is decent.

  • Grubi

    I’m calling it right now. Gordon-Levitt is gonna get an Oscar nom for this role.

    • Jackie

      He’s overdue. He should have gotten one for ‘(500) Days of Summer’.

      • Marhiel

        He’s beautiful and obsiouvly very much loved.My three boys all grew at different rates, and each checkup was always like Oh, man, what do you mean my kid’s head is at the 200%tile? I am happy to report that they are all healthy boys. The middle one seems to take after his dad, the first and third seem to built more like I was as a kid. Wait ’til the talking begins! The real talking. Like Mommy, if I were Anakin and you were Count Dooku, would you let me cut off your head?


    “Now it’s adding the team. Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook, James Spader and John Hawkes are in TALKS to co-star in the movie,”

    – –

    Pardon my French, but HOLY SHEET! WHAT A DREAM TEAM!

    – –

    Where is DAVE KARGER when you need him? : ) I mean if this rings true, I smell THE OSCARS, dude. . . (A la ‘Tube’s troll) Thumbs up if you agree. : )

    – –

    PS: Thanks for some juice, ANTHONY. And welcome back, JAMES SPADER (I’m outside US, anything not on silver screen to us is deemed in obscurity).

    • DBM

      I wonder if Hal Holbrook will be Ol’ Fuss and Feathers himself… General Winfield Scott? Certainly the right age and sort of looks like him. I think he would be perfect.

    • DBM

      I wonder who John Hawkes will play? Bugsy from The Perfect Storm and Saul from Deadwood? Hmmm…

  • Robert Boos

    The best portrayal of Abraham Lincoln that I ever saw was Sam Waterston’s in the television presentation. I believe that it was based on Gore Vidal’s book.

  • Kactus-Kat

    I don’t care which part JAMES SPADER gets cast in, he’ll be as brilliant as the best! I comb the news all the time looking for his next project, and wish he were doing MORE work! Why aren’t more producers casting him? They can’t find a good enough part anymore? Hmmm, it’s time for ME to start writing his a movie or play or TV series again! That guy is worthy EVERY penny invested in his talent!

    • DBM

      I was thinking that Spader might be casts as Seward… except that Spader is about 10 years too young to be a Seward. He would be the right age to play Chase though… and doesn’t look unlike him.

  • arthur

    Isn’t Sally Fields too old to play Lincoln’s wife.Mary Lincoln was born in 1818. That whould make her early 40’s in 1860.

    • Ashley

      Mark,I have the same obsession with asher’s chrtas. Like Link he started off average in all ways but soon became 95th for weight(10 lb on his 1 month) and 5th percentile for height! Just the opposite of Link! I always wonder if Asher is going to be a grandpa Phillips! His little hands and feet still seem smaller than kids half his age but his head!!!! Oh I think he has a Phillips head! It will be interesting when they get big to see who turned out like what. Asher sure seems to be a little bull dog right now!

  • Cheryl Johnson

    We need an actor to play Booth who is less known but an excellent actor as that was Booth’s occupation. Billy Crudup would have been excellent, but he is a bit too mature now. He is less well known because he chooses his parts carefully.

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  • Mike Feltes

    help! who is that actor in carriage at end of LINCOLN? looks like Donald Sutherland, ?????

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