The normally funny Mary Tyler Moore will portray the distinctly not amusing Mary Todd Lincoln in an adaptation of Gore Vidal's fact-based novel "Lincoln," planned as a four-hour mini for NBC next season. Sam Waterston will play the lanky Abe.
Lensing is set to begin late next month, most likely in Richmond, Va. "We did extensive research and wanted a place that doesn't necessarily look like a back lot," said Bob Christiansen, who will produce with Rick Rosenberg for exec producers Sheldon Pincheck and Bill Finnegan. Lamont Johnson will direct the screenplay by Ernest Kinoy.
Like the book, the film begins when the newly elected pres arrives in D.C. and continues through his assassination. But, according to Christiansen, it will focus "much more on the personal life in the White House than has been seen in the past."
Christiansen acknowledged the casting might seem unusual--particularly the normally funny Moore--but believes it will work. She and Waterston have co-starred before in "Finnegan Begin Again" and "First You Cry" for TV and the feature "Just Between Friends."