Redford ‘to Direct Lincoln Assassination Film’

LOS ANGELES ~ Hollywood legend Robert Redford has signed up to direct a historical drama about the assassination of US president Abraham Lincoln, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Lincoln, whose presidential tenure took place during the 1861-1865 US civil war, emancipated slaves and was mortally shot by a southern sympathizer in Washington as he was watching a play just weeks after the fighting ended.

Redford’s The Conspirator plans to focus on the role of Mary Surratt, a Washington tavern owner who sympathized with the Confederacy in the south and was allegedly linked to the assassination plot.

The script was written by James Solomon, known for penning the TV series “The Bronx is Burning,” while actor James McAvoy is being considered for one of the lead roles, the Reporter said.

Surratt allegedly supplied Lincoln’s killer, John Wilkes Booth, and accomplice David Herold, with weapons. She was convicted and hanged for her role in the plot despite doubts over her guilt, the Reporter said.

The status of two other movies about Lincoln – a biography to be directed by Steven Spielberg, and a story on the chase for Lincoln’s killers that was to star Harrison Ford – remains uncertain.

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