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
Morgan Freeman, as abolitionist Theodore Joadson
Anthony Hopkins, as former President John Quincy Adams
Matthew McConaughey, as attorney Roger Baldwin
Djimon Hounsou, as Cinque
Nigel Hawthorne, as President Martin Van Buren