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News | 3 min read

Steven Spielberg to film Lincoln in Richmond and Petersburg

May 4, 2011

RICHMOND – Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell today announced Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg will shoot his highly anticipated major feature film Lincoln in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The film is based on the book “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and will be shot in the Richmond and Petersburg areas. Filming will begin in the Fall and the movie is slated for release in 2012.

The film will star Academy Award-winning actors Daniel Day-Lewis (My Left Foot, There Will be Blood) as Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field (Norma Rae, Places in the Heart) as Mary Todd Lincoln. The screenplay was written by Tony Kushner who last worked with Spielberg on the feature film Munich. The film will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg for DreamWorks Studios.

“We are honored that Steven Spielberg, an award winning and visionary film maker, has chosen the Commonwealth for this important film. It is especially notable coming during the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and emancipation,” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “Steven is an exceptional storyteller who brings historic themes to life on screen, resulting in such important and influential films as Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, Munich and the mini-series Band of Brothers. I have no doubt that Lincoln will quickly join the ranks of those famous works.”

Steven Spielberg noted, “Virginia’s rich historic legacy, coupled with the remarkable period architecture found in Richmond and Petersburg, make Central Virginia the ideal location for this production.”

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng remarked, “It would not have been possible for Virginia to attract such a prestigious film to the Commonwealth without the work of the Virginia Film Office, support of the General Assembly, and the cities of Richmond and Petersburg.”

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones commented, “Richmond played a central role in the Civil War, and we are honored that our city will be featured in a film about this important time in American history. We welcome this extraordinary opportunity to be part of this film.”

The Virginia Film Office worked with the cities of Richmond and Petersburg to secure this project. The incentive package includes $1 million from the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund, $2.5 million from the Virginia Motion Picture Tax Credit program and $1.1 million in in-kind contributions. The amount of funding awarded to a project is based on Virginia workers hired and the purchase of Virginia based goods and services.

The direct and indirect impact of Virginia’s motion picture and video production industry in 2009 was $346 million, representing 2,700 jobs for the state.

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