September 14th, 2012
10:26 AM ET
In unveiling the full trailer for November's "Lincoln," director Steven Spielberg still warned viewers that they're not going to be able to glean the whole story.
In a discussion Thursday, facilitated by Google Play, Spielberg said that the trailer "is only a slight texture, a little tone or offering of the tone of the film," he said. "The movie's really about the content of Lincoln's life ... of the last four months of his life."
"Lincoln" is adapted from Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," which Spielberg praised as "very detailed." When he read it, he said, "that was the gauntlet that she threw down that made us all want to equip her research and enormous admiration for Abraham Lincoln in a film version."
The movie follows Lincoln as he concentrates on two large issues: ending the Civil War and abolishing slavery. "To see him working on a specific action really gives you an idea of what it must have been like to be Abraham Lincoln, and not just him, but a member of his family," Spielberg said.
Daniel Day-Lewis portrays the 16th president, and Spielberg said the actor did more than his fair share of homework.
"[Lewis] really honored Lincoln by reading so much about him, even more than I ever did," the filmmaker said. "He came up with his interpretation of Lincoln based on everything he read and experienced within his own process. He delivers Lincoln as I imagine, as we all imagine, Lincoln perhaps was to very, very many people in his life and his administration."
In the end, Spielberg is hoping audiences walk away with a greater understanding of Lincoln the man, not just the history figure.
"It was important for me to get a penetrating, thorough look at Lincoln as a man, as a working president, not as a posing president," Spielberg said. "Lincoln was a monumental president, but we treat him as a man, not a monument."
"Lincoln" opens November 16.
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