After many years of pathetic hemming and hawing and slip-sliding away from one of the most difficult, fraught-with-peril challenges of his career, which basically comes down to a case of artistic cowardice, Steven Spielberg has finally committed to direct Tony Kushner‘s Lincoln.

Spielberg’s Lincoln will not, however, be portrayed by poor Liam Neeson, who was humiliated by Spielberg’s refusal to commit to the Lincoln project for years on end (going back to ’05), and who finally bailed last summer. The 16th president will be played instead by Daniel Day Lewis, and that, I have to say, is excellent news. An all-but-certain Best Actor nomination, I would think. Pic will shot at the end of ’11 and roll out in 2012.