“Now he belongs to the ages.”
Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was credited with that death-bed epitaph hours after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in 1865, and with Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln arriving on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, his words resonate — albeit in a less hallowed sense. Ever since Daniel Day-Lewis agreed to portray Lincoln — a role that must’ve felt as daunting as Hamlet mixed with Jesus Christ — cinephiles and academics alike awaited the finished result, to see if the British actor who’d magically infused himself into the souls of characters like Christy Brown and Daniel Plainview could resurrect and reintroduce our 16th president to the 21st century.
The result, we can say now, was truly historic. Day-Lewis won the Oscar — his third for Best Actor — and we learned all the tales of his total commitment to the role, which entailed him being in-character for as much as possible while on the set. “I never ever felt that depth of love for another human being that I never met,” Day-Lewis told 60 Minutes about playing Lincoln, and in countless interviews promoting the film, he expressed how sad it made him to say goodbye to the character.
In an exclusive feature from the new Blu-ray, Spielberg talks about the day their film work was finally done, when Day-Lewis, who’d been Lincoln for months, finally lowered the veil to his director.
Lincoln becomes available tomorrow, via a 4-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack and a standard 2-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack:
4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack Super Set
• The Journey To Lincoln: Steven Spielberg and his collaborators discuss the challenges and excitement of bringing this story of a complex and very human president to the screen.
◦ A Historic Tapestry — Richmond, Virginia: Spielberg and his team discuss the historical significance of Richmond, Virginia, and why they chose to shoot the film there.
◦ In The Company Of Character: Delve into Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Lincoln, and discover the authenticity and openness created by the actors and filmmakers on set.
◦ Crafting The Past: Examine the re-creation of Lincoln’s era through authentic period details in production design, costume and makeup.
◦ Living With Lincoln: Follow Steven Spielberg, the cast and crew through the shooting of the film, from the battle at Jenkins’ Ferry, through the epic 13th Amendment showdown in the House of Representatives, to Lincoln’s tragic end.
◦ In Lincoln’s Footsteps: Explore the film’s editing, sound design, and the subtle yet poignant musical score by John Williams, and discover how relevant and inspiring Lincoln still is today.
2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack
• The Journey To Lincoln
◦ A Historic Tapestry – Richmond, Virginia