The first teaser trailer for Steven Spielberg’s highly-anticipated biopic Lincoln (starring perennial Oscar favorite Daniel Day-Lewis as the titular former president) has been released. Besides some brief glimpses of Civil War conflict and an austere shot of Lincoln surveying the battlefield, one of the most striking moments of the clip is the prominent appearance of up-and-coming actor David Oyelowo (Red Tails, Planet of the Apes) in the role of what appears to be Union Army soldier.
In the scene, he reciting part of the Gettysburg Address to the president. It is unclear at this point whether this scene is meant portray Lincoln’s visit with black soldiers in 1864, where he said to have been eager to see them in action. According to historian Brooks Simpson:
“The president got his first look at black soldiers in the field when he visited Baldy Smith’s camp in 1864. ‘The black troops received him most enthusiastically, grinning from ear to ear, and displaying an amount of ivory terrible to behold.’ [Grant aide Horace] Porter observed. They cheered wildly, crowding around Lincoln, kissing his hand, brushing his coat or his horse so that they could tell others that they had touched the president. And Lincoln was touched. His eyes brimming with tears, his voice broke as he talked with the men; the encounter reminded everyone what was at stake.”
According to the Internet Movie Database, Oyelowo is playing a character named Ira Clark, who appears to be a fictional creation of the film.
Are you excited to see Spielberg’s interpretation of Lincoln’s life? Or do you think the project reeks of historical revisionism? Check out the teaser above and let us know.