By Phil Guie – CinemaSpy.com
Robert Redford’s period drama The Conspirator, based on events following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, has found its leading man and lady.
Wanted star James McAvoy will play Frederick Aiken, the attorney for Mary Surratt, the only woman among a group charged with conspiring to kill the president, Variety reports. Aiken is an idealistic young war hero who reluctantly defends Surratt, and in the process comes to believe her innocence.
Robin Wright Penn has been cast as Surratt, who was also the mother of one of the alleged conspirators. Production on the film, based on a script by James Solomon, is scheduled to begin in October.
The Conspirator will mark the film picture financed by the American Film Co., which has engaged Pulitzer Prize winner James McPherson and several Lincoln assassination experts for help with accuracy.
“Stories from our history are often more compelling than fiction,” said Joe Ricketts, an online brokerage entrepreneur and head of American Film Co. “Mary Surratt’s trial is a powerful, relevant story.”