Actor Samuel L. Jackson has been a part of some of the most legendary films in the recent past. Jackson is the second-highest-grossing actor of all time by featuring in pop culture-defining films such as Pulp Fiction, Avengers: Endgame, and Do The Right Thing.
Jackson has always been vocal about his opinions and has never shied away from expressing them, even if they are about the creators he has collaborated with. He once spoke about how he was disappointed with the ending of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which won lead actor Daniel Day-Lewis his third Best Actor Oscar.
Samuel L. Jackson On The Ending Of Lincoln
Actor Samuel L. Jackson has worked with many renowned directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, M Night Shyamalan, and Steven Spielberg. The actor has collaborated multiple times with directors Spike Lee and Tarantino, appearing in over five films for both of them. Jackson was also conferred with an honorary Academy Award for his contributions to the film industry and for being a cultural icon. So, safe to say, he knows a thing or two about films.
Samuel L. Jackson, in a statement to the LA Times, mentioned how disappointed he was with the ending of Steven Spielberg’s biopic Lincoln, based on the former US President Abraham Lincoln. The film chronicled the events of the final moments of the Civil War and President Lincoln’s struggle to abolish slavery and unite the country. The film won Daniel Day-Lewis his third Academy Award for Best Actor.
The ending of the film shows the death of Lincoln after being shot by John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theatre. It shows him on his deathbed at the Peterson house. Samuel L. Jackson had a problem with this. Speaking to the LA Times, he said,
“I don’t understand why it didn’t just end when Lincoln is walking down the hall and the butler gives him his hat. Why did I need to see him dying on the bed? I have no idea what Spielberg was trying to do.”
Jackon mentioned that he did not need the visual of Lincoln dying as it added nothing to the story and that the film had its satisfying conclusion ten minutes before. He said that unless Spielberg visually depicted the assassination, there was no need to speak about his death, which was common knowledge.
Steven Spielberg Avoided Showing Lincoln’s Assassination
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln was based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Spielberg reportedly got involved in the project back in 1999 and later hired frequent collaborator Tony Kushner to write the film. He wrote a 550-page screenplay.
Spielberg mentioned that he wanted to avoid the assassination of President Lincoln as he felt it was exploitative to depict it on film. In an interview with Collider, the director said,
“Had we taken it right up to the assassination, the film would’ve, for the first time, become exploitation…That’s a very scary word, especially when you’re dealing with history. And nothing could be gained by showing that. It was more profound for me to see what actually happened. It had nothing to do with cinema. It just had to do with not wanting to exploit the assassination, which has been depicted in other films, ad nauseam.”
Spielberg has always been a proponent of not exploiting history, which started right from his Academy Award-winning Holocaust film Schindler’s List. The director reportedly did not take a salary for the film as he felt it was ‘blood money’. While the director did avoid showing the assassination, he depicted the death of the former President, which seems to have irked Samuel L. Jackson.
Source: LA Times