The two-time Academy Award winner will play Mary Todd Lincoln, wife to the 16th US President, opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in the starring role.

Filming is expected to begin in autumn in time for release in the fourth quarter of 2012 through Disney’s Touchstone distribution label.

Tony Kushner adapted the screenplay from Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s bestseller Team Of Rivals.

The film is expected to focus on the collision between Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.

Kathleen Kennedy will produce alongside DreamWorks co-chairman and CEO Steven Spielberg, who said: “I’m excited to be working with Sally for the first time. I’ve admired her films and she has always been my first choice to portray all the fragility and complexity that was Mary Todd Lincoln.”
“To have the opportunity to work with Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis and to play one of the most complicated and colorful women in American history is simply as good as it gets,” Field added.