Back in Fall and Summer, I gave you reading lists filled with books that are being adapted into movies. To mark the Winter solstice and a new season, I'm giving you guys a brand-new list for your shelf with even more titles that you'll be seeing on the big screen. Cozy up with one of these books next to a warm fire — plus, you'll be able to claim that "the book was so much better" before everyone else.
Apparently, this is the year for Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. Much of Hollywood seems to be fascinated with the legendary president and his assassin right now, with a biopic and a HBO miniseries already in the works. Now, there's a Showtime series in development that would focus on Booth and his brothers — a dysfunctional family drama of sorts that I'm guessing ends with a president shot dead.
I'm having trouble keeping these various projects straight in my mind. Should I care most about Lincoln himself, how his assassin got caught, or how his killer came to be a presidential shooter in the first place? Here's a handy chart to help you decide:
|Name||The Booths||Team of Rivals||Manhunt|
|Medium||TV (Showtime)||Film||TV (HBO)|
|Stars||To be determined||Liam Neeson (Lincoln), Sally Field (Mary Todd Lincoln)||To be determined|
|Focus||John Wilkes Booth and his two dysfunctional brothers||Lincoln himself||"Lesser-known players" in the hunt for Lincoln's killer|
|Hollywood "Big Name"||Executive Producer Kevin Bacon||Director Steven Spielberg||Writers David Simon and Tom Fontana|
|Book Inspiration||None||Team of Rivals||Manhunt|
|Presumed Outcome||Lincoln dies||Lincoln dies||Lincoln dies|
In a recent article, Newsweek randomly announced that Sally Field will play Mary Todd Lincoln and Liam Neeson will play Abraham Lincoln in a biopic directed by Steven Spielberg. The casting news was included in a piece about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s special exhibit, “Mary Todd Lincoln: First Lady of Controversy,” which explores the possibility that Mary Todd Lincoln may have suffered from mental illness.
Newsweek states that Spielberg's project will be based on the Doris Kearns Goodwin book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Of course, production will have to wait until filming wraps on the fourth Indiana Jones movie, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Personally, I'm excited for this. I don't think Field has had a complex, meaty film role in many years, and I look forward to seeing her on the big screen again, even if she doesn't think she has time for anything but "Brothers & Sisters."
Field and Neeson photos source