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Posted at 11:41 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

McDonnell, Spielberg talk about filming Lincoln movie in Va.

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Gov. Bob McDonnell called superstar film director Steven Spielberg on Monday to help try to convince him to bring his new movie on Abraham Lincoln to Virginia.

"I had a chat with Steven Spielberg the other day,'' McDonnell said on his monthly radio show on WRVA Thursday. "He's filming the Lincoln movie. Virginia is right near the top of his list. We're certainly trying to get him to come. That would be about a $50 million project in the Richmond area."

The two men spoke for about 20 minutes -- mostly about their shared interested in World War II, sources in McDonnell's administration tell us. McDonnell's late father fought in the war and Spielberg has filmed several movies about the war.

State officials have offered Spielberg tax credits to film the movie. The General Assembly passed a bill this year allowing a tax credit of up to 20 percent for movies filmed in the state with expenses of at least $250,000 for taxable years beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

Spielberg was scouting locations in Richmond recently when he stopped to have lunch with Rita McClenny, director of the Virginia Film Office, and Andy Edmunds, the office's location manager, at Millie's Diner.

The next day, Spielberg announced his long-anticipated Lincoln biopic would focus on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.

Lincoln, the 16th president, visited the former capital of the confederacy April 1865 right after the city fell and shortly before he was assassinated.

The film will be based on the 2005 book "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin and will star Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln. Filming is expected to begin in fall 2011 for release in 2012.

By Anita Kumar  | December 2, 2010; 11:41 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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