What’s that you hear? The sound of Meryl Streep’s 21st Oscar nomination? Or is it the sound of Tom Hanks making it back in to the Best Actor category after getting shut out for Sully? Or maybe it’s Steven Spielberg‘s return to the Oscars following Bridge of Spies? It might be all three now that Streep and Hanks have teamed up on a new political drama helmed by Spielberg that has awards season written all over it.
Just last week author Mark Harris announced his latest project on twitter: a Netflix docuseries based on his book about Hollywood and World War II. Today Netflix has officially announced the project with the first trailer for a series cinephiles and history buffs will want to clear their calendars for.
If you grabbed some random schmo of the street and demanded they name a composer of film scores, they’d probably name John Williams if they could come up with any answer at all. (Unless you ended up with some smart-aleck in the know who busted out Alexandre Desplat or Mica Levi or something.) Williams is responsible for pretty much every movie theme hummed by general populace over the last four decades: as you read these words, I know you’ll hear the triumphant fanfare of the Star Wars score, or the ominous duh-dum of the Jaws theme. And today, Hans Zimmer can go right ahead and eat his heart out, because Williams’ most famed compositions will soon be immortalized in one essential compilation.
Ready Player One could best be described as absolutely maddening to adapt into a movie. First of all, in Ernest Cline’s book you have two separate worlds to deal with: the dystopian slum world America has devolved into, and then the virtual world inside the OASIS that people use to escape their reality. The OASIS is peppered with ’80s and ’90s pop culture references — they become integral to the plot — so it makes sense that Steven Spielberg, one of the people who essentially created the late 20th century pop culture landscape, would be a good choice to direct it.
Given how much space physical media takes up, it’s hard for movie buffs to say no to the great promise of “cloud storage,” and the idea that we could summon anything we want to watch with just a couple of clicks. But so far, reality hasn’t matched the hype. Streaming services have been focused on exclusives and original programming, to the extent that the only way to have access to everything available is to spend hundreds of dollars a month on subscription fees. Meanwhile, older films keep disappearing from the digital archives; and even items that cinephiles “own” sometimes become inaccessible whenever software updates or a site shutters.
It’s pretty well known that Steven Spielberg was a major force (h’yuck) in getting J.J. Abrams the assignment directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lucasfilm wanted a director. Spielberg wanted Abrams to get the gig. “I brought J.J.’s name up,” he said in a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode VII and I called J.J. and said ‘Would you do it if it was offered to you?’” Abrams was initially reluctant (he thought his wife wouldn’t want him to take any more time-consuming franchise gigs), so Spielberg actually took Abrams and his wife Katie out to dinner on Lucasfilm’s behalf, asked Katie if it was cool if J.J. directed Star Wars, and basically made a Love Connection of the whole thing. The rest was history.
We’re still not sure exactly when the new Indiana Jones sequel will happen, but not long ago, Disney and Lucasfilm confirmed that Steven Spielberg is returning to direct Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones 5. David Koepp, who worked on the screenplay for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (insert sad trombone) is also reuniting with Spielberg for the upcoming sequel, and according to him, there’s one notable person who won’t be involved — at least on the story level.
For a brief moment, Ava DuVernay was attached to direct Intelligent Life for Amblin with Lupita Nyong’o on board to star, but when the former departed the project to focus on Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, the latter also jumped ship — leaving the film in flux. But the sci-fi project has found new life with Jay Roach, who has signed on rewrite and potentially direct Intelligent Life based on Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly’s screenplay.
Everyone knows that Indiana Jones took his name from the family dog. But did you know that the man who played Indy’s dad, Sean Connery is only 12 years older than Harrison Ford? Despite the relative closeness of their ages, director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas couldn’t imagine anyone but James Bond playing the father of Indiana Jones. That’s just one of the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade facts featured in this new episode of You Think You Know Movies!
Ready Player One, Ernest Cline’s virtual reality dystopia, is getting the film adaptation treatment from Steven Spielberg, and he’s currently shooting it in London. The book takes place in the near future of 2044, and tells of an energy crisis that has forced most people to turn to OASIS, a VR game complete with chunky goggles, as a form of escape from their harsh reality.