Kim Masters’ The Big Money column has posted an interesting story about the current financial difficulties and studio politics that may yet sink Steven Spielberg’s long-gestating Abraham Lincoln biopic.
Spielberg was aiming to finish the project by the end of 2009 and kick off filming within weeks, but DreamWorks’ recent money troubles have taken their toll and he’s been waiting for executives at Paramount to decide whether to make the film and hire him to direct it.
DreamWorks intended to pay Paramount a large amount to retain the right to partner on and produce a separate batch of projects that it had to leave behind at the studio when it split, including “Lioncoln”.
To do that though they had to buy two completed films that it made during its time at Paramount – Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” and the Eddie Murphy comedy “A Thousand Words”. They simply don’t have the cash.
Soon after it was first published, a source at Paramount told Masters that the studio has passed on the project – meaning its effectively dead for the near future. Spielberg is current busy with his next film, the first of the “Tintin” CG motion-capture films.