In an interview posted today (9.29), Empire‘s Helen O’Hara quotes Steven Spielberg saying a couple of things about Lincoln, which begins shooting in October. Spielberg begins by explaining that the source material, Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s Team Of Rivals, “is much too big a book to be a movie, so the Lincoln story only takes place in the last few months of his Presidency and life.

“I was interested in how he ended the war through all the efforts of his generals…but more importantly how he passed the 13th Amendment into constitutional law. The Emancipation Proclamation was a war powers act and could have been struck down by any court after the war ended. But what permanently ended slavery was the very close vote in the House of Representatives over the 13th Amendment — that story I’m excited to tell.”

Asked if Lincoln will bear any similarities to Amistad, Spielberg says that his Anthony Hopkins-starring 1997 historical film “is much more visual than Lincoln is going to be. It feels very much like a procedural. It shows Lincoln at work, not just Lincoln standing around posing for the history books…arguably the greatest working President in American history doing some of the greatest work for the world.”