Digital Spy reports that the actor, speaking to the UK’s GMTV, claimed he is too old to play the 16th U.S. president, who was assassinated in 1865.
Neeson, who starred for Spielberg as Oskar Schindler in the Oscar-winning Schindler’s List, had been attached to the film since 2005.
“I’m not actually playing Lincoln now. I was attached to it for a while, but it’s now I’m past my sell-by date,” Neeson said.
He will, however, play President Lyndon B. Johnson in Lee Daniels‘s civil rights drama Selma.