When Steven Spielberg makes a movie, it’s an event. Even at age 67, he’s still one of the most vital and interesting filmmakers working in the industry today, and movie lovers anxiously await news of any new Spielberg project. The last time he was in the director’s chair was for the 2012 Oscar winner Lincoln, and in the intervening months, he’s juggled seemingly dozens of different options for his next movie. Now, according to THR, DreamWorks has announced what The Beard will direct next.
First up will be an untitled Cold War spy thriller that will hit theaters on Oct. 16, 2015. That movie, written by the Coen Brothers, will reunite Spielberg with his Saving Private Ryan star Tom Hanks, who plays James Donovan, an American attorney enlisted by the CIA during the Cold War to slip behind the Iron Curtain and negotiate the release of Gary Powers, a pilot captured when his U-2 spy plane was shot down over Russia. It’s based on a true story. Seeing Spielberg reunite with Hanks again (after their collaborations on Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, “Band of Brothers,” and “The Pacific”) should be excellent, and this story sounds like a great mixture of action and drama.
Following that untitled project, Spielberg will direct an adaptation of the children’s book The BFG, which stands for “The Big Friendly Giant,” and that movie will arrive on July 1st, 2016. The film is based on the book by “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” writer Roald Dahl, and follows the adventures of a young girl who befriends the title character, the world’s only friendly giant who collects good dreams and passes them on to sleeping children. That project will also be a reunion for Spielberg; this time, he’ll reunite with writer Melissa Mathison, who wrote the script for E.T.
To make these release dates, Spielberg will have to get started filming on these pretty soon (he’s filming them back to back). For those holding out hope that maybe Spielberg would direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, that seems like an impossibility now that his dance card is full for the immediate future, but I suppose there’s always the possibility that he comes on for another one of the movies later on. Personally, I’m happy seeing Spielberg continue to go his own way and not enter into a galaxy far, far away; that’s his old buddy Lucas’s territory, and if they’re not collaborating like they do on the Indiana Jones films, there’s no real reason to assume he’s going to step into Lucasfilm’s ever expanding universe.
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