For the past five years or so, Liam Neeson has been locked on to play President Abraham Lincoln for Steven Spielberg in his planned biopic, Lincoln. It’s pretty clear that Neeson is the perfect actor for the job, so all made sense and everyone was just waiting to get it going.
Now comes word via The Digital Spy that Neeson, while speaking to GMTV, is saying he won’t be playing the towering president anymore. Neeson says “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,” insinuating that he’s too old to take part anymore.
Looking at Abraham Lincoln you would think that Neeson being too old is absurd, but as The Playlist points out, Lincoln died when he was 56 and Liam currently sits at age 58. Still, the president looked a little older than he was and Neeson could probably pull it off still. The likely reason for the decision is just length of waiting time. It’s already been five years and at the moment, Spielberg has other projects going on including his adaptation of War Horse getting ready to begin production for release next summer, so the actor probably just isn’t waiting around anymore.
For those of you who were set on seeing Neeson play a president, fear not; he is signed on to play Lyndon B. Johnson in Precious director Lee Daniels’ upcoming film, Selma.
So now I offer the question up to you the readers: who could pull off Abraham Lincoln if Neeson is out? A tricky casting to fill!