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What's Next: First look at 'The Conspirator'

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Robert Redford's The Conspirator doesn't have a distributor yet (i.e. Paramount, Warner Bros., Fox or Lionsgate) or a release date, but that hasn't stopped the American Film Co., which bankrolled the shot-in-Savannah movie, from letting slip a couple of photographs.

These two pictures show the film's star, James McAvoy, with his co-star Robin Wright (nee Penn) and director Redford.

In the Civil War drama, McAvoy plays a decorated Union soldier-turned-lawyer assigned to defend Mary Surratt (Wright), the lone woman accused of conspiracy in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He does so reluctantly.

The Conspirator isn't really about the assassination itself, or about John Wilkes Booth, who actually carried out the deed

"All the President's Men was very similar," Redford told USA Today, "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 American Film Co.'s stated intention is to only make historically-accurate movies about United States history. Several Lincoln and Surratt scholars consulted on the script for The Conspirator, which was lensed in Savannah during the final months of 2009.

A spokesman for the company said the film will definitely be in theaters by the end of the year.

The play's the thing

...The Collective Face, a new theater group in town, has Matthew Barber's British drama Enchanted April onstage Thursday-Saturdays through May 15 at New Covenant Church. It's an adaptation of the beloved novel by Elizabeth von Arnim. Call (912) 232-5658....

...Coming May 14-23 in the City of Savannah's S.P.A.C.E. on Henry Street: A production of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson. Directed by Vicki Blackshear, it's a drama about an African American family in the 1930s, as they deal with the painful legacy of an heirloom piano (handed down from white slaveowners). Get info at (912) 651-6783 or www.savannahga.gov/arts....

 

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