EXCLUSIVE: Jason Clarke is in negotiations to play the male lead in the Terrence Malick-produced The Green Blade Rises. He will play Tom Lincoln, the father of Abraham Lincoln. The film tells of the formative years of the 16th U.S. president and the hardships that shape him including abandonment by his father in the harsh winter wilderness, a tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality. Clarke’s character has a callous, quiet demeanor, verbally and physically abusive towards Abe on many occasions, but lets his son know how proud he is of him. He is married to Sarah Lincoln (played by Diane Kruger), Abe’s beautiful stepmother.

It is another big role for the rising Australian actor. Clarke next stars in the Kathryn Bigelow-directed hunt for bin Laden film Zero Dark Thirty, which Sony releases in December. He is currently in John Hillcoat’s Lawless as one of three bootlegging brothers with Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy. He will also star in the Baz Luhrmann-director The Great Gatsby (in the role of gas station owner George Wilson, originated by The Walking Dead’s Scott Wilson). Clarke is currently in production on White House Down.

The Green Blade Rises is produced by The Tree Of Life‘s Malick, Nicolas Gonda and Charley Beil (To The Wonder). The film is written and directed by A.J. Edwards, who has worked with Malick on three of his films including To The Wonder, The Tree Of Life and The New World. He got his start as an editorial intern on Malick’s The New World and served as the editor on his most recent film To The Wonder.