Director Steven Spielberg has been circling a project about 16th United States President Abraham Lincoln for a good five years now. He said he had Liam Neeson attached to start right from the beginning, but the biopic has just never gathered momentum.

The budget was worked out last year and there were recent rumours that Spielberg was planning to shoot around Christmas time after filming The War Horse adaptation this August.

But in a recent interview with Digital SPy, Liam Neeson stated that if Spielberg does get round to making the product, then it would be without him. “I’m not actually playing Lincoln now,” he explained. “I was attached to it for a while, but it’s now I’m past my sell-by date.

What this means for the project now is unclear, I’m sure Spielberg will try to find an actor to replace Neeson, even though that is no easy task. He may even abandon the project completely and move on with other projects. Neeson on the other can be seen in The A-Team this week and is planning on playing ex-President Lyndon B. Johnson in Lee Daniel’s civil rights drama Selma.