Spielberg To Shoot “Lincoln” in Virginia

Abraham Lincoln picture to be shot in Richmond and Petersburg

Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg has chosen to shoot his upcoming feature film “Lincoln” in Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday.

Filming will begin in the fall, with the film release set for 2012.

“We are honored that Steven Spielberg, an award-winning and visionary film maker, has chosen the Commonwealth for this important film. It is especially notable coming during the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and emancipation,” McDonnell said in a statement. “Steven is an exceptional storyteller who brings historic themes to life on screen, resulting in such important and influential films as 'Saving Private Ryan,' 'Schindler’s List,' 'Munich' and the mini-series 'Band of Brothers.' I have no doubt that 'Lincoln' will quickly join the ranks of those famous works.”

Spielberg noted, “Virginia’s rich historic legacy, coupled with the remarkable period architecture found in Richmond and Petersburg, make central Virginia the ideal location for this production.”

Virginia offered an incentive package to secure the film project. The package includes $1 million from the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund, $2.5 million from the Virginia Motion Picture Tax Credit program and $1.1 million of in-kind contributions.

The amount of funding awarded to a project is based on projections of the number of Virginia workers hired and the purchase of Virginia-based goods and services, officials said.

“Lincoln” will star Academy Award-winning actors Daniel Day-Lewis (“My Left Foot” and “There Will Be Blood”) as Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field (“Norma Rae” and “Places in the Heart”) as Mary Todd Lincoln.

The film is based on the book “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The screenplay was written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (1993 Award for Drama for “Angels in America”). Kushner last worked with Spielberg on the feature film “Munich.” Both men were nominated for Academy Awards for their work on "Munich" -- Spielberg was nominated for Best Director and Kushner was nominated for Best Writing in the Adapted Screenplay category.

The film will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg for DreamWorks Studios.

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