Steven Spielberg’s Abraham Lincoln biopic has been in development ever since 2001 after DreamWorks obtained the rights. Liam Neeson has been attached to play the 16th president of the United States since 2005, and at one point it looked like production would begin in early 2006, but things didn’t take off.
Spielberg has since directed Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, and is currently preparing his WWI epic War Horse which begins filming in August. Should Spielberg ever find time in the upcoming years to get round to his Abraham Lincoln biopic he may need to find a new leading man, as Liam Neeson recently revealed he is no longer attached.
From Digital Spy:
“I’m not actually playing Lincoln now. I was attached to it for a while, but it’s now I’m past my sell-by date,” he said.
I’m sure Neeson has had discussions with Spielberg about this over the years and with the project in a constant stage of development hell the actor has decided to move on, which is a shame as Neeson would be great in the role.
Liam Neeson will next be seen in crime thriller The Next Three Days with Russell Crowe in November, and will return as the voice of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader . He’ll most likely play Zeus again too in Clash of the Titans 2 which will shoot next year.