Robert Redford will direct the historical drama The Conspirator, the story of Mary Surratt who was an alleged conspirator of Abraham Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. The script was written by James Solomon (The Bronx is Burning).
The film is scheduled to begin shooting this fall and the producers are out to cast, with James McAvoy said to be at the top their list to play one of the lead roles.
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Surratt’s is a compelling story. A Washington D.C. boardinghouse owner who sympathized with the Confederates, she was allegedly part of the plot to kill Lincoln, supplying Wilkes Booth and his accomplice David Herold weapons at her tavern after the assassin had shot the president at Ford’s Theater.
Surratt’s son John was also alleged to be part of the conspiracy. Mary Surratt was eventually convicted and hanged for conspiring to kill the president; her son went on the lam and eventually was put on trial but was never convicted, living until 1916.
The pic will also center on a young Union hero named Frederick Aiken who was appointed to defend Mary Surratt, and who comes to believe that the widow is innocent.