Liam Neeson, who Spielberg had worked with in the critically acclaimed ‘Schindler’s List’ was originally set to play the titular character of Abraham Lincoln the upcoming Steven Spielberg-directed ‘Lincoln’, but the role ended up going to Daniel Day-Lewis instead. Unfortunately, the director was attached to too many projects and ‘Lincoln’ ended up falling into ‘development hell’, a term that is used to describe projects that stay in development for years without going into production.
Also, now it seems that Neeson has become more of an established action star, unlike his earlier days when he was making high-brow critical fare that was seen by fewer people but received critical acclaim. Now, Neeson has consecutively starred in three blockbusters, but blockbusters that were all crucified by the critics: Taken 2 and Battleship receiving the most vitriol from critics.
Now, the role which has been getting Daniel Day-Lewis endless critical acclaim in advanced screenings and no doubt net him another Oscar nomination, could have gone to Neeson instead had it gone through in 2010, as opposed to staying in development while Spielberg worked on other movies. Lincoln is set to release on November 16th in the US, and will no doubt have a strong run up to the Academy Awards in February.
It seems as if Neeson's been losing more roles than usual lately, as Russell Crowe also reportedly beat out Neeson for the lead role in Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah'.