The Conspirator

The Story

In the wake of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of State.

The lone woman charged, Mary Surratt, owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks.

Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer, Frederick Aiken, a 28-year-old Union war-hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. As the trial unfolds, Aiken realises that things are not entirely as they seem, and that there may be an unexpected twist to the story of events.

Cinema Trailer


Production and Release

Principal photography began in October 2009, in Savannah, Georgia and concluded in December 2009.

The Mary E. Surratt Boarding House still stands, and is located at 604 H Street NW in Washington, D.C. Mary Surratt's farmhouse in Clinton, Maryland, is now a museum. The town in which the farmhouse stands was originally called Surrattsville, but the United States Post Office renamed the town Robeysville due to the notoriety of the Surratt name. In 1879, Robeysville was renamed Clinton.

The Conspirator premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 11th September 2010, and a special premiere screening took place on 29th March 2011 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

A second premiere screening took place on 10th April 2011 at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., the site of the assassination.

The United States cinema release took place on 15th April 2011, the 146th anniversary of the death of President Lincoln. The film was released in Canada on 29th April 2011 and in the UK on 1st July 2011.


• James McAvoy as Fredrick Aiken, an idealistic young war hero who reluctantly defends Surratt and in the process comes to believe in her innocence.
• Robin Wright as Mary Surratt, the only woman among the group charged with killing the president.
• Justin Long as Nicholas Baker, Aiken's best friend, an injured Civil War veteran.
• Evan Rachel Wood as Anna Surratt, Mary Surratt's daughter.
• Johnny Simmons as John Surratt, Mary Surratt's son.
• Toby Kebbell as John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinates Abraham Lincoln.
• Tom Wilkinson as Reverdy Johnson, the former attorney general who as U.S. Senator is the mentor to Aiken.
• Norman Reedus as Lewis Payne
• Alexis Bledel as Sarah Weston, Aiken's girlfriend.
• Kevin Kline as Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s secretary of war.
• Danny Huston as Joseph Holt, the prosecuting attorney.
• Stephen Root as John W. Lloyd, a principal witness for the prosecution.
• Jonathan Groff as Louis Weichmann
• Brent F.G. Feasel as Lord Dundreary
• Kirk Sparks as Edmund Spangler
• Colm Meaney as Maj. Gen. David Hunter, president of the military commission that tried and convicted the conspirators.
• Shea Whigham as Capt. Cottingham
• James Badge Dale as William Hamilton
• Jim True-Frost as Hartranft
• Gerald Bestrom as Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States who is assassinated in the beginning of the film.