Daniel Day-Lewis stars in "Lincoln." (DreamWorks )
Director Steven Spielberg and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt took part in an interactive video chat hosted by Google Play today to premiere the trailer for "Lincoln," the highly anticipated historical drama starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president.
The film, which was adapted by Tony Kushner from Doris Kearns Goodwin's nonfiction book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," focuses on Lincoln’s final four months in office as he strives to end the Civil War, unite the nation and abolish slavery.
The trailer opens with a voice-over of Day-Lewis reciting the Gettysburg Address and offers the first extended look at the film, glimpsing the carnage of the war, the political quarreling of a nation divided and the personal struggles of the Lincoln family.
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In addition to Gordon-Levitt, who plays Lincoln's eldest son, Robert, the star-studded cast includes Sally Field as First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, David Strathairn as Secretary of State William Seward and Tommy Lee Jones as congressman Thaddeus Stevens.
During his brief introduction, Spielberg hedged that the trailer offers "only a slight texture" of the full picture. "It's just a little tone, or an offering of the tone of the film," he said. "The movie's really about the content of Lincoln's life."
Spielberg added that the film would humanize its subject. "Lincoln was a monumental president," he said "but we treat him like a man, not a monument." Ultimately, he said, the film is about the burden of leadership, about "the kind of weight that Lincoln has to bear."
Gordon-Levitt, who said he'd seen the finished film for the first time earlier in the day, echoed Spielberg. "I just loved seeing a movie where he's a human being that's flawed, that makes mistakes, that has to compromise," he said.
"Lincoln" opens Nov. 9. Watch the full trailer below.
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