Following the first debate between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, a new two-minute trailer for “Lincoln” aired on CNN, CBS and ABC. The Steven Spielberg biopic of America’s 16th president captivated politically charged audiences, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The film, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, will be released on Nov. 16, intentionally after the election, because Spielberg didn’t want “Lincoln” to "become political fodder," he said in an Orlando Sentinel interview. The placement of the trailer after a major debate makes it apparent that the marketing team behind the film isn’t afraid of using the political climate to their advantage.
The trailer notably doesn’t delve into the election of Abraham Lincoln, but rather focuses on the struggles and debates he had with those opposing the abolition of slavery. "I am the president of the United States of America ... clothed in immense power!" shouts Day-Lewis in the trailer’s climax.
The Hollywood Reporter points out that the trailer draws a connection between Lincoln and several figures and movements throughout history, including Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, women’s suffrage, and the end of apartheid in South Africa.
By sheer coincidence, at one point during his debate with Romney, Obama invoked the memory of Lincoln. Speaking of the responsibilities of citizenship, and investing in education and other initiatives to help bolster economic growth and jobs, Obama said, "The federal government can't do it all, but it can make a difference."
In an article, Entertainment Weekly said the new movie trailer was better than what had previously been seen from “Lincoln,” which the publication felt didn’t emphasize the 16th president’s importance enough. The high-profile film’s cast includes Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Jackie Earle Haley, and John Hawkes, among others, according to IMDB.