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Steven Spielberg, Doris Kearns Goodwin reteam for 'Bully Pulpit'

October 30, 2013|By Amy Kaufman
  • Steven Spielberg teamed with Doris Kearns Goodwin once before on the filmmaker's "Lincoln."
Steven Spielberg teamed with Doris Kearns Goodwin once before on the filmmaker's… (Evan Agostini/Invision/Associated…)

DreamWorks is heading back to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

A year after Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" became a box office hit and award-season favorite, the filmmaker's DreamWorks Studios has announced plans to make another presidential drama -- and based on the work of the same author who helped make "Lincoln" possible.

The studio has acquired the rights to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's upcoming book "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism," which is set for publication Nov. 5. Kearns also wrote 2005's "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," which became the basis for Tony Kushner's "Lincoln" script.

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The Pulitizer Prize-winning author has been working on her latest book for seven years. The story centers on the longtime friendship between Roosevelt and Taft, whose relationship went south as each vied for the Republican presidential nomination in 1912.  

“Doris has once again given us the best seats in the house where we can watch two dynamic American personalities in a battle for power and friendship,” Spielberg said in a statement.

It is unclear when production will begin on the film, or who will direct it. And although it seems unlikely that Spielberg would jump from one historical adaptation to another, he doesn't have any imminent plans to direct anything else. His "Robopocalypse" had been set to start filming this summer, but in January he postponed production for what he said could be six to eight months. In August, he dropped out of directing the Navy SEAL drama "American Sniper," which had been announced not long before as his next project.

In any case, if "The Bully Pulpit" is his next directorial film, it could take a few years, and then some, to arrive in theaters: Spielberg spent more than a decade tinkering with "Lincoln" before the movie made it to the big screen.

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