HOLLYWOOD – Director Steven Spielberg is set to direct another presidential biopic like 2012’s Lincoln, this one a short film about the shortest presidency in United States history: That of William Henry Harrison.
“The movie will take about as long as it would take to read the Wikipedia entry on his brief administration,” said Spielberg. “Like Lincoln, Harrison is associated with a constitutional crisis, but unlike Lincoln’s struggle to hold the Union together, Harrison’s was caused by his untimely death in office.”
For the Lincoln biopic in 2012, Spielberg looked to source material from historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, but not this time around. “We got a grad student in history to write up an outline,” said Spielberg, “and we let Daniel (Day Lewis, who is set to star as Harrison) and the ensemble will run with it.”
The film covers the events of Harrison’s presidency, which lasted 32 days. Production, principal photography and editing is expect to take about the same time, if not less.
“It’s not a wealth of material, honestly,” said Spielberg. “His only official act was to call Congress to a special session, before dying of pneumonia. There is some backstory like the Battle of Tippecanoe, but that gets us about three minutes of screen time. We’d be stretching to get more than twelve minutes out of this whole thing.”
Studio publicists confirmed that the DVD and BluRay release will likely not include much in the way of extra material or deleted scenes.