In a story from Variety, James McAvoy and Robin Wright Penn will be starring in The Conspirator directed by Robert Redford.

The film is a period drama that is based on the true events following the assassination of President Lincoln. The film is being financed by the American Film Co. It is run by online brokerage entrepreneur Joe Ricketts.

The script is written by James Solomon.

Wright Penn will play the role of Mary Surratt. She was the only woman in a group of men that was charged with conspiring to kill the president. McAvoy will play the part of Frederick Aiken. He is a young war hero who doesn't want to defend Surratt, but then comes to feel that she is innocent.

In order to make the film be as accurate as possible, American Film Co. has tapped Pulitzer Prize winner James McPherson and Lincoln assassination experts Thomas Turner and U.S. Army regimental historian Col. Fred Borch.

"Stories from our history are often more compelling than fiction," Ricketts stated. "Mary Surratt's trial is a powerful, relevant story."

The Conspirator is slated to begin production in October.

Evan Jacobs