First Look Images from Robert Redford’s ‘The Conspirator’


USA Today has debuted six images from Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, the director’s upcoming story dealing with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, telling the story through the life of Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), an alleged conspirator of assassin John Wilkes Booth (Toby Kebbell).

I have featured the new photos below along with information corresponding to each, but for the complete descriptions you can visit USA Today here.

Photo: American Film Company Productions via USA Today
  1. James McAvoy’s soldier-turned-lawyer in this conspiracy case finds himself in the uncomfortable position of defying the Union after nearly dying for it.
  2. Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla) plays John Wilkes Booth in The Conspirator, though the movie is more about those who may have aided the character.
  3. Robin Wright plays Mary Surratt opposite McAvoy as her reluctant attorney.
  4. Redford directs James McAvoy as attorney Frederick Aiken.
  5. Alexis Bledel (“Gilmore Girls”) co-stars in The Conspirator as the fiancee of attorney Frederick Aiken.
  6. Robert Redford directs one of the battle sequences in his new movie The Conspirator.

Along with the images, USA Today’s Anthony Breznican has written up a piece accompanying the image debut describing the film as something of a “Law & Order: Civil War Unit,” following the race to hunt down the small band of Confederate sympathizers who helped plot the 1865 assassination of Lincoln in Ford’s Theater.

In discussing the focus of the film as being on Surratt, the titular conspirator, Redford says, “There was a question of whether she was complicit, guilty by association, or even more guilty. The lawyer that defended her didn’t want to defend her. He was a Union soldier who became a lawyer.”

While Breznican compares it to a tired TV show, Redford compares it to his personal classic, All the President’s Men, in explaining why he didn’t chose to focus on Lincoln’s assassination and instead uses it as a setup, “All the President’s Men was very similar, because you had this big historical event taking place, but what people didn’t know was what these two reporters did, digging in under the radar. You didn’t need to show Nixon a lot.”

The film does not yet have a distributor, but based on the cast, which also includes Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin Kline, and Stephen Root and Redford’s involvement I expect it will find distribution soon enough and wouldn’t be surprised to see it entered into the Toronto Film Festival.

Again, you can read Breznican’s full piece here and browse the gallery with extended captions here.

The Conspirator is one of the many films listed in the RopeofSilicon “The Contenders” section tracking the road to the Oscars. Click here to explore our year-round coverage.