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Robert Redford Mulls Abraham Lincoln's Assassination With THE CONSPIRATOR!!

Merrick here...
Robert Redford is looking to direct THE CONSPIRATOR, the story of Mary Surratt... alleged cohort of Abraham Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth.
Surratt's is a compelling story. A Washington D.C. boardinghouse owner who sympathized with the Confederates, she was allegedly part of the plot to kill Lincoln, supplying Wilkes Booth and his accomplice David Herold weapons at her tavern after the assassin had shot the president at Ford's Theater. Surratt's son John was also alleged to be part of the conspiracy. Mary Surratt was eventually convicted and hanged for conspiring to kill the president; her son went on the lam and eventually was put on trial but was never convicted, living until 1916. The pic will also center on a young Union hero named Frederick Aiken who was appointed to defend Mary Surratt, and who comes to believe that the widow is innocent.
...reveals THR's Risky Business Blog HERE. James D. Solomon (a writer and/or story editor and/or producer of THE PRACTICE and THE BRONX IS BURNING) is scripting.

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 18, 2009, 11:39 a.m. CST

    But what about Spielberg's Lincoln?

    by Kief_Ledger

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 11:39 a.m. CST

    But what about Spielberg's Lincoln?

    by Kief_Ledger

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Damn double post

    by Kief_Ledger


  • Aug. 18, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST


    by Jaka

    Rob needs to work more, imo. His legacy is set on many levels. But look at what Eastwood has done in the last 10-15 years. It would be nice if Rob was out there doing a bit more. Although, interestingly, IMDb shows there possible in development projects, but not this one.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    so thats what spielberg's been waiting for!

    by Six Demon Bag

    a rival film to compete with! now get to it old men!

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 11:50 a.m. CST


    by Jaka

    ...three projects. lol Not sure I've ever typoed "there" for "three". Newness is always nice.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    What About Manhunt?!

    by SamuelLappDance

    That was a phenomenal book a couple of years ago that was all set to star Harrison Ford as one of the lead guys chasing John Wilkes Booth. I thought it was going to be a flick for 2009 or 2010.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Agreed on Manhunt

    by Lefty Lefterson

    Just finished that book a short while ago, and I kept picturing how it could make a great movie. It could even coexist with Spielberg's project I'd imagine...

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Has A Good Movie Ever Been Made About This?

    by Aquatarkusman

    The fact that you had the Confederate Secret Service/spy agency operating out of Canada and that two other high-ranking people (the VP and the Secretary of War) were targeted for assassination on the same day, and the manhunt for Wilkes Booth... it makes for a great story.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Fuckin Spielberg!

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    He needs to be puttin his version of Lincoln on screen and getting back to what he does best; serious cinema. Ever since A.I., Spielberg has been really hit or miss. Lincoln's story deserves the Spielberg treatment as much as any other historical figure I can think of. Spielberg on Lincoln starring Liam Neeson? SHEEEEEEEEEEEET. <br> <br> It could be his masterpiece, instead we're getting this Tin-Tin shit, (sorry, not familiar with it so for now I say shit), and another Indy fucking abortion.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    Little Miss Sunshine was originally going to be about this, but they did drastic rewrites at the last minute.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    is being made into a TV mini-series by the creator of The Wire.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Forget Neeson as Lincoln

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Get in Daniel Day Lewis!

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:16 p.m. CST


    by DennisMM

    is some of the greatest comics of all time. Far from shit. Probably gonna be a better film than many of Spielberg's, if he just brings the skills to it.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    IMDB has Spielberg's Lincoln listed as "Pre Production"

    by jim

    for 2011. However, since his Lincoln film was his supposed to be his next movie after Munich, I don't see 2011 as firm.<p>Seward wasn't just targeted for assassination, he fought with his attacker and only survived thanks to a neck brace and the bad luck of the assassin.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    I'm not so sure that the story of a bit player to major events will really be so compelling on the screen if they only stick to the facts.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Redford makes painfully boring movies out of good subjects

    by YackBacker

    I believe he directed Paris Hilton's sex tape.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Charlize Theron uglies up again..

    by skimn

    for the Oscar win!!! Really, Mary Surratt looked like a lovely looking man.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:35 p.m. CST

    And HBO has become the home to historical

    by skimn

    dramas. I'm sure the major studios are not going to put major money into any historical story when they're aiming for those 14 year old boys to fill seats. And what was the last historical epic to make money..Titanic?

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Catherine McCormack for Mary Surratt.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    That is all.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:38 p.m. CST

    This sounds excellent...and good call skimm

    by ZoeFan

    Charlize has worked with Redford before (Legend of Bagger Vance) and if this is as good as it sounds I think it would be a no lose kind of project.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Holy crap, Simon IS doing MANHUNT as an HBO mini!

    by ebonic_plague

    Thanks for the tip, kwis! Who knows if Herc actually reported this, but that news alone is cooler than anything else on coax or the front AICN page today. Simon can do no wrong.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Catherine McCormack for anything...

    by Jaka

    ...would be most excellent. How is it that she's not working all the time?

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    she was guity

    by MrDexter

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    she was guity

    by MrDexter

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST


    by MrDexter

    i'm sick in bed and sneezed that double post !!! Fact, She was guilty as hell

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Scarlett Johansson looks nothing like her

    by Domi'sInnerChild


  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    what is with the alleged crap

    by CharlesThomasMathewsMom

    Bitch was convicted and HUNG. There's no alleged. I mean allegedly Charles Watson killed Sharon Tate or something. Weak.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Platinum Dunes Birth of a Nation remake

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Future AICN headline from 2010: Michael Bay is planning to produce a remake of The Birth of a Nation. Bay will go back to the source novel and make a more "muscular" and action driven film. In a deviation from the source material, Bay plans on adding the hip hop robots from Transformers 2 to give the film more "flavor" and to bring in more child audience goers.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    MANHUNT mini HBO

    by Samuel Fulmer

    That's good news. John Adams was great.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Who needs Spielberg's Lincoln

    by Samuel Fulmer

    When we've got the Lincoln from Bill and Ted....PARTY ON DUDES!

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:25 p.m. CST

    If Abe Lincoln was alive today

    by Samuel Fulmer

    He would have removed the mole.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Ang Lee's Lincoln:LogCabin Republican edition

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Why can't I emmancipate you?

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Tarantino's Lincoln

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Lincoln assasinates Booth, then talks to Andrew Johnson for 40 minutes about 1860's pop culture while Morricone music from some obscure Italian western plays on the soundtrack.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Spielberg's next

    by Shaner Jedi

    after Tin Tin is a remake of Harvey. :(

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Merrick, I think we can remove the word "alleged" from here

    by YackBacker

    She was convicted and hanged for her role in aiding the assassins. Nobody will sue you for defamation!

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:37 p.m. CST

    OJ is still looking for the real killers

    by Samuel Fulmer

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:37 p.m. CST

    That's why he's in prison now

    by Samuel Fulmer

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Sounds intriguing

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    Hopefully it'll be more conspiracy/thriller and less courtroom drama. And I get the unfortunate feeling Spielberg's Lincoln is never going to happen, as much as everyone on the planet would like it to...

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Charles Watson?

    by Jaka

    roflol ..... lol.... sorry, it just made me laugh.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Gentlemen, please!

    by fitzcarraldo2

    There are weighty issues to be considered here. EG Mary Surratt - under what circumstances would you do her?

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST


    by superunknown85

    A group of Confederates heads north to overthrow the president.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    It was the barbershop quartet industrial complex...

    by AzulTool

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    The have the death hoods the conspirators wore...

    by ZombieHeathLedger their hangings on display in the Smithsonian Museum in D.C. I just saw them about a month ago. Pretty fucking horrific shit, they are scary looking as hell.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Interesting Subject...

    by KosherWookie

    But if handled poorly it will be as engaging to watch as 'Gods and Generals...'

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Put a SPOILER tag in it!

    by ricarleite2

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Or is Bob boosting a project by Sundance

    by kabong


  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST

    The simple truth about Spielberg's Lincoln: Script is not finish

    by Proman1984

    Kushner is still working on the screenplay, which by the way, is a mammoth undertaking. It's a great thing that Steven isn't rushing him.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST

    So Redford is set to steal another oscar from Scorsese...

    by bbbbeeeennnn

    around March 2012

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    rachel mcadams as the conspirator!

    by ironic_name

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST


    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    I did say that I wasn't familiar with TinTin and used the shit tag jokingly to describe it based on my ignorance. <br> <br> BUT <br> <br> When looking at Spielberg's directorial projects since A.I. and adding Tin Tin to those as compared to a historical warts-and-all epic about Lincoln, I used the shit tag to illustrate that Lincoln is the most Spielberg-esque movie of the pile. Didn't mean to put down the Tin Tin project that I know almost nothing about, but I couldn't give a frog's fat ass about Tin Tin if I were able to choose Spielberg's next project. That's all i was saying.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST


    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    It's history, bro. No need for a spoiler tag.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:55 p.m. CST

    The idea reminds me of...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    the movie 'I shot Andy Warhol.' Making a movie about someone who the general public of today doesn't know jackshit about.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST


    by bbbbeeeennnn

    I completely agree. Clint Eastwood is a genius because he knows a film can't be made by committee.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    Be excellent 2 each other...and...PARRTY ON DEWDS!!

    by GibsonUSA Returns

    Thats all the Lincoln I need.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    kabong-Ha, are you refering to Quiz Show

    by Samuel Fulmer

    and Soderberg when you're talking about Redford taking projects away and directing them himself?

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Marcia Gay Harden?

    by frakthetoasters

    They'll most likely cast Marcia Gay Harden as Surrat.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    fuck Bret Favre!

    by walrusholder

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 4:46 p.m. CST

    TOO SOON!!!

    by TheBaxter

    good lord, the man's only been dead 150 years. let him rest in peace!

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 4:53 p.m. CST


    by TheBaxter

    i heartily endorse the idea of daniel day lewis as lincoln. "four score and seven years ago, our fathers DRANK YOUR MILKSHAKE! they DRANK IT UP!"

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST


    by ZodNotGod

    This would go great with Spielberg's Lincoln bio-pic.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Oliver Stone version

    by SmokingRobot

    Lincoln was killed by a triumvirate of the Illuminati, the Knights Templar and the Irish Mafia.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Looks sorta like...


    Carrie-Anne Moss.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Hey history buff

    by JimBobCooter

    Charles Watson / Manson didn't "allegedly" nor "actually" kill Sharon Tate as he never set foot at the crime scene. Your point is valid, though. Just not the facts.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 6:28 p.m. CST

    "Predators" Casting Breakdown Leaks:

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    ASIAN MALE - 30s. Slender, stealthy and a master with the katana. A man of few words…LEAD BLACK MALE - 30s - 40s. Quiet but full of deadly old-world wisdom. A natural-born killer not afraid to die. Authentic African…LEAD RUSSIAN MALE - 30s - 40s. Frightening bear of a man…shoot first, ask questions later…LEAD LATINO MALE - 30s - 40s. Hardened, brutal…Danny Trejo type…LEAD From oy.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST


    by HaterofCrap

    or maybe a cyborg lincoln... otherwise...snoozefest!

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST


    by Logan_1973

    The whole assassination story is thick and rich. Loads of possibility. I say GO Robert and take a back seat, Steven; you snooze you lose.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Am I the only person who's sick of history?

    by CherryValance

    lol I thought it was just Nazis and WWII but I'm realizing I'm really over olden times all together.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 7:52 p.m. CST

    this headline did not need the doublre exclamation

    by future help

    Know what i mean!!!!!!

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Is Sam Worthington going to be in this one too?

    by AzulTool

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 8:02 p.m. CST

    "PREDATORS" CASTING?...I got this!

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    Jason Scott Lee, Djimon Hounsou, Kevin Durand & Amaury Nolasco. <p> Done. Next.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 8:25 p.m. CST

    I'll believe this when I see it.

    by #1 Zero

    Read the book "Down and Dirty Pictures" which is about the 90's independent film scene and Sundance film festival and you'll see that Redford has started and abandoned just about as many movies that he has made. He actually doesn't come off that great in that book. As for Spielberg's "Lincoln", I've heard that that is pretty much not even on the table anymore. I think a better Lincoln story would be based on the book "Manhunt" about the search for Booth. Maybe that's in development somewhere else but that would be more exciting to watch than this story.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Comment: unauthorized comment submitted.

    by Yoda's Ball Sack

    Comment: unauthorized comment submitted.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Fulmer, I was just referring to Redford

    by kabong

    helping filmmakers by letting his name be attached to their projects. <P> Anyway, I'd rather go for your Tarantino version: Lincoln saying, "Do I look like a bitch?"

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST


    by iwasredempted

    i would only do her to save someones life. that would be the only way i could live with it.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 10:14 p.m. CST

    charles watson killed tate. i knew it..

    by iwasredempted

    charles manson is innocent. the dude loved the beatles for godsakes. no way any one who loved the beatles could kill any one or order the killings.

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Be excellent 2 each other...and...PARRTY ON DEWDS!!

    by GibsonUSA Returns

  • Aug. 18, 2009, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Charles "Tex" Watson

    by so_here_I_am

    Did kill Sharon Tate.

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 12:08 a.m. CST

    so_here_I_am...doh! you're right..

    by iwasredempted

    thank you for straightening out the historical data. i thought the previous post was a typo. anyway, i was really looking forward to a spielberg lincoln movie. too bad it seems he may be doing a harvey remake. why? the original is such a great movie. no need to redo it. shame.

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Redford excellent choice for Mary Surratt

    by StarchildAD

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 1:34 a.m. CST

    JimBobCooter- Aint it Shit News Ferret

    by CharlesThomasMathewsMom

    gotta love how he tries to correct his superiors, so smugly and assuredly and is completely fucking incorrect

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 7:13 a.m. CST

    Will Smith as Abraham Lincoln

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Hey, if he can play a black secret service agent in post-civil War America he can play honest Abe. Boothes sneaks up on him in the theter, Aw Hell Nah, gets his ass thrown down the balcony.

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 7:41 a.m. CST

    "Manhunt" was fantastic

    by Carl's hat

    What a read. Almost made you feel a little sorry for Booth. Nah-the guy was still a scuzz. Still a fascinating epsiode and figure in history.

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Manhunt sure was fantastic.

    by Laserhead

    Isn't somebody else adapting that book right now? Are we going to have multiple Lincoln movies soon?

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Have Abe come back as a zombie...

    by Logan_1973

    And cast Simon Pegg.

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Lincoln shot first

    by jsm1978

    And sadly, CherryValance, you're probably not the only one, what since history requires all that book le'rnin'.

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 9:28 a.m. CST

    How about a movie adaptation of "My American Cousin"?

    by MrMysteryGuest

    The play Lincoln was seeing when he got shot?

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Lincoln: The first guy to ever get his ass shot in a theater!

    by MrMysteryGuest

    And he wasn't even watching "Boys N The Hood"!

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Redford Lincoln film

    by friendship7

    Interesting side story to the Mary Surratt trial- One of the judges on the tribunal was Union Army General Lew Wallace. He wasn't totally convinced of her guilt but went along with the groups verdict. She was hanged. This hung on Wallace's conscience for years until he finally wrote the novel Ben Hur, a tale of false condemnation & redemption. His story would make an interesting film.

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by scors54

    Yes, HBO is doing "Manhunt" as a mini-series with Kevin Bacon as Booth.Simon is involved as well, so given the book was great, Simon is great and bacon has shown he can be great, this should be....great?? Fingers crossed.

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Who the fuck writes those...

    by elwood_p_dud

    character descriptions? That sounds fucking stupid. Christ, will CA fall off into the ocean already so we can get some people with IQ's working in film again?

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Kevin Bacon as Booth? Too old.

    by drewlicious

    Booth was only 26 years old when he was hunted down. Bacon is around 50 and even though he looks pretty good for his he still wouldn't pass. According to EW they might be eyeballing James McAvoy. One person suggested jeremy renner, he's 38 but could pass for 19th century 26 year old if you ask me. Good lighting will handle the rest.

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 8:22 p.m. CST

    "but other than that, Miss Lincoln, how was the show?"

    by JackRabbitSlim

    I'd be willing to bet - sight unseen - that 90% of a google search on the word "sockdologizing" would be tangential to Lincoln's death.

  • Aug. 19, 2009, 8:28 p.m. CST

    There are pictures of the hangings - yeah they wore hoods

    by JackRabbitSlim

    As i remember - in one of the pictures, one of the executed was blurred - evidence they were still doing the gallows jig. <p> Anybody know if its true that male hanging victims corpse pop wood for a few minutes afterwards? Vaguely remember reading it - prolly bullshit.

  • Aug. 20, 2009, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Lincoln fought with Kirk and Spock

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    i just saw it yesterday, he beamd abord the enterprise and then fought with them but unfortunately still managed to get killed from the back the putz.