Liam Neeson has finally given up on playing Abraham Lincoln in a Steven Spielberg directed picture.

The Belfast -born actor now 58, says he is too old to play the tole of the president who died when he was 56.

"I'm past my sell-by date," Neeson told Britain's GMTV last week.

Spielberg has talked for years teaming up with his "Schindler's List" star on the Lincoln project and Neeson had said yes to that.

"(Spielberg) asked me four years ago, would I do it. I said, 'Let me think about it.' And I did and I said: 'I've thought about it. Yes.'"

However, difficulties getting the film together have meant a long delay.

"That project has never seemed to come to fruition so he just moved on a couple of years ago," Neeson's publicist later told

"It is a film we all hope to make," Spielberg's representative at DreamWorks told "So much depends on timing and all the elements coming together at the right moment. 'Schindler's List' was around here for over 10 years. It was worth it, wouldn't you say?"

Neeson says the film on Lincoln's life needs to be made "It's crying out to be told -- what went into the formation of the United States. It's an extraordinary story. But it's in the works and (Spielberg) will do it, I'm sure, when he's ready."