LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg is ready to get started on a film biography of Abraham Lincoln, Daily Variety reported Wednesday.
The paper said Spielberg has talked with Liam Neeson about playing the 16th U.S. president, with plans calling for production on the movie to start in January 2006.
Spielberg is currently shooting "The War of the Worlds" with Tom Cruise. Plans call for filming to be wrapped up in March, followed by an intense post-production aimed at getting the effects-heavy project in theaters in June.
Variety said Spielberg has wanted to make a Lincoln movie at least since 2001 -- when his company, DreamWorks, bought rights to a biography being written by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. That book had been expected in stores in 2003, but has been delayed until next fall.
A spokesman for Spielberg declined to confirm whether he had made any definite plans for casting or a production schedule.