Another setback for Lincoln, the film

The news of massive Indian funding for Spielberg's movie company has cast indirect light on the Lincoln film project that started with his buying in advance the rights to the then unwritten Team of Rivals; and then, more recently in partnership with screenwriter Tony Kushner, Spielberg's seeming to drop Doris Kearns Goodwin's property for a new storyline.

This nugget of intelligence comes from Playbill, earlier in the month:
Spielberg's DreamWorks film about Abraham Lincoln (with Tony Kushner attached as screenwriter) was not yet ready to shoot, according to the trade paper, so Harvey [a newer project] has been fast-tracked.
Recent stories featuring Kushner have not mentioned him finishing the script - in fact, they have not mentioned Lincoln at all. Is it too much to infer that Spielberg is having story/scenario problems with the material? First with Goodwin's book as delivered, then with Kushner's new material?

Larry Tagg noticed news that Robert Redford will beat Spielberg to market with a Lincoln film, albeit an assasination story ("The Conspirator"). This could actually help a future biopic by creating interest via the drama of death and chase.

What bothers me about the Redford stories - and we're entering codger territory here - is that only some of them mention that this is for HBO. To me HBO = TV and an HBO movie = Made-for-TV-Movie. Has the stigma disappeared? If it is not shown in theatres, is it a movie? When HBO started, I cancelled it the first time they broadcast a made-for-HBO-movie and have never looked back.

What Larry likes is the angle the scriptwriters are taking: "I'm especially excited about this because the movie centers on Mary Surratt, and I was just asked to speak at a conference organized by the Surratt Society--www.surratt.org--in March."

A Surratt society! Well, the astonishing level of interest in Dr. Samuel Mudd must be an indicator of something. Redford here may have a better nose for commercial potential, even if he is wasting a film on cable TV.