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Amistad, the motion picture

Amistad is director Steven Spielberg's debut motion picture at Dreamworks SKG. The film is due to be released Wednesday, December 10th in New York and Los Angeles and Friday, December 12th nationwide. However, a motion for preliminary injunction by Barbara Chase-Riboud could postpone the release.

The making of Amistad

In 1996, Dreamworks announced a list of nine live-action motion pictures it planned on releasing. Among these was Mutiny, a story based on the Amistad incident. Debbie Allen, who owned the rights to the book Black Mutiny, was listed as a co-producer. Production was scheduled to begin in February 1997.

Spielberg formally announced "the Amistad project" on November 6, 1996. Debbie Allen was confirmed as producer, David Franzioni was named screenwriter, and the film was to be titled Amistad. Variety magazine reported later in the month that Spielberg approached Dustin Hoffman about a role in the film, but Hoffman declined. Talks began with Morgan Freeman in late November, and with co-star Matthew McConaughey at the end of 1996. Spielberg also recruited West Africans for roles as the slaves.

On-site shooting occurred in Rhode Island and Connecticut during March 1997. Post-production took place in May.

The premiere of Amistad occurred Thursday, December 4, in Washington, D.C. Among the luminaries in attendance were President Bill Clinton and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad. 

Reviews of Amistad

Cast