‘Lincoln’ changes made for foreign audiences

By Daniel S Levine,

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is being prepared for its overseas release. Spielberg approved some small tweaks to the Oscar-nominated picture to make the film about Abraham Lincoln, the 13th Amendment and the last days of the Civil War make better sense to foreign viewers.

The cut of Lincoln that was shown domestically starts immediately with a Civil War battle scene, but a short message providing viewers with some context will be added, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The segment will use real black and white images from the war and will feature a John Williams score like the rest of the movie.

“We worked on this with Steven Spielberg and writer Tony Kushner,” Paul Hanneman, co-president of 20th Century Fox International, told THR. “It's seamless and quite beautiful, actually. And there is the John Williams score playing over it.”

When the film finally opens in Japan in April, another introduction, featuring Spielberg himself, will be included.

“It's not a biopic about Abraham Lincoln, it's a moment in time that changed history,” Hanneman continued. “From a publicity perspective, we're not trying to make this a movie about politics.”

Lincoln, which was nominated for 12 Oscars last week, has grossed over $153 million domestically, notes BoxOfficeMojo. The film was released by Disney in the U.S. The Huffington Post notes that it is the top-grossing Best Picture nominee so far.

Fox and Spielberg’s DreamWorks are hoping that the film does much better than past American films about this country’s history have done at the foreign box office. Thanks to the critical acclaim and star Daniel Day-Lewis, they are confident that it will do well.

“The amount of attention it has gathered critically, its success here and awards will drive international audiences,” Fox Filmed Entertainment CEO Jim Gianopulos told THR. “It's a global village today. The discussion about the film that's taken place and the attention it has received through social media and elsewhere is global.”



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