Steven Spielberg is not used to hearing the word "No." But after having trouble securing funding and distribution deals, Spielberg is now being forced to beg to keep his passion project Lincoln going.
The Tony Kushner-penned biopic, with Liam Neeson on board to play the former President, has long been one of his most precious properties. But, according to Kim Masters in The Big Money, when his DreamWorks studio ditched Paramount last year, it had to leave it and an entire raft of projects behind. Well, DreamWorks had planned to buy the project back from Paramount with the money it was going to get from an Indian billionaire and Wall Street investors. But that money hasn't materialized and DreamWorks is out of cash.
That leaves Lincoln in Paramount's hands and the guy who gets to now decide if the studio goes ahead with the picture, Brad Grey, is not exactly a friend of DreamWorks'. Plus Paramount already passed on it once, claiming too high a budget.
Spielberg has slashed that number down to a sad little $50 million, but the future is still murky. It'd be a shame for him if he lost out on the opportunity. He's the master of chest-thumping, Kaminski-shot American gravitas. And now it could fall into the hands of a Joe Wright or Marc Forster. Or just get lost forever in turnaround. Anti-Republican Hollywood strikes again.