Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks are in early discussions to acquire the rights to John Steinbeck’s classic Depression-era novel, The Grapes of Wrath. A representative for Spielberg confirmed a Deadline report that the Oscar-winning director of Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan is interested in the project, but only in a producer capacity. He would not direct. The novel was famously adapted by John Ford in 1940, with Henry Fonda starring as Tom Joad, the ex-con who tries to help his poor family as they flee the Dust Bowl for a better life in California. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Steven Spielberg (11-20 of 105)
These days, going to the movies can feel a lot like going to the airport. Theaters offer all kinds of “premium” upgrades—3-D, IMAX, reserved seating—and all of them send ticket prices soaring. Moviegoers in urban areas regularly spend up to $20 for a single ticket. In fact, a ticket to see Man of Steel in IMAX 3D at a reserved seating show at AMC’s Lincoln Square theater in New York City ran for $23.50 last weekend. But Paramount wants to know if moviegoers would spend even more than that. Last week, the studio and Regal Cinemas announced a $50 “Mega Ticket” for World War Z, which included early admission to the zombie film starring Brad Pitt, plus a whole grab bag of extras (more on that later).
At this rate, will ticket buyers soon pay $100? George Lucas thinks so. While speaking at a June 12 panel at the University of Southern California that included Steven Spielberg, the Star Wars director predicted that Hollywood’s current obsession with glossy blockbusters over art-house fare would cause an industry “implosion.” “There’s eventually going to be a big meltdown,” Lucas said. “You’re going to end up with fewer theaters…. Going to the movies will cost 50 bucks or 100 or 150 bucks, like what Broadway costs today, or a football game.”
Hollywood’s love affair with ghoulies and ghosties was reconfirmed Thursday with the announcement that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is partnering with Fox 2000 Pictures to finance and distribute a new version of director Tobe Hooper’s 1982 horror classic, Poltergeist. The film will be directed by Gil Kenan (Monster House), written by David Lindsay-Abaire (Oz: The Great and Powerful), and produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert through their Ghost House Pictures company, together with Roy Lee (The Strangers). Ghost House’s previous credits include The Grudge, last year’s The Possession, and the recent reboot of Raimi’s own Evil Dead.
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For years now — especially since The Sopranos ushered in a new era of smart, complex, visually sumptuous television programming — Hollywood insiders and consumers alike have been saying that TV is a better avenue for gripping, intelligent entertainment than film. (EW actually declared this to be true way back in 1995, four years before David Chase’s mob series debuted.)
And yesterday, two majorly influential voices indicated that they may be joining the pro-TV chorus: George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
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The Cannes Film Festival got under way with a blockbuster day of Steven Spielberg and Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
The French Riviera extravaganza began on a rainy Wednesday, where the prestigious festival was to open with the 3-D adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel.
In a press conference Wednesday, the cast came in sailing on popular success, if not great reviews.
“I knew that would come,” said Luhrmann, noting the initially poor critical response in 1925 to the novel. “I just care that people are going out there and seeing it.”
But Gatsby opened with a strong performance at the box office, taking in $51.1 million. The film is making its European premiere at Cannes on Wednesday night, nearly a week after opening in North America. READ FULL STORY
Steven Spielberg has lined up his next directorial endeavor. There’s been uncertainty about what project would next have the multi-Oscar-winner in the director’s chair since he put Robopocalypse on hold, but he is now set to helm Bradley Cooper’s American Sniper, EW has confirmed. THR first reported the news.
The film is an adaptation of American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. Cooper will star as late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who has a record 150-plus confirmed kills. The book, which spent 18 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, chronicles Kyle’s decade-long military career, including multiple combat tours in Iraq. READ FULL STORY
Eight luminaries of eight different nationalities have joined the jury of the Cannes Film Festival, led this year for the first time by Steven Spielberg — including Austrian actor (and two-time Oscar winner) Christoph Waltz, Taiwanese director (and two-time Oscar winner) Ang Lee, and Australian actress (and… one-time Oscar winner) Nicole Kidman.
The jury is rounded out by five film vets from five more countries: Indian actress Vidya Balan, a Bollywood star who will also celebrate 100 years of the genre at a gala screening of Bombay Talkies; Japanese director Naomi Kawase, whose films have won Cannes’s Camera d’Or (in 1997) and Grand Prize (2007); British screenwriter/director Lynne Ramsay, whose film We Need to Talk About Kevin won praise at Cannes in 2011; French actor Daniel Auteuil, a BAFTA winner who snagged Cannes’s Best Actor award in 1996; and Cristian Mungiu, a three-time Cannes winner for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, as well as last year’s Best Screenplay winner at the fest.
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, will open Cannes on May 15. It will close with a screening of Zulu, a political thriller starring Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker, on May 26.
French actress Audrey Tautou will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the 66th Festival de Cannes. Even though it is a largely ceremonial position that doesn’t hold any sway over what film will go home with the coveted Palme d’Or, Tautou is sure to be as Amélie-adorable as ever when she welcomes the awards jury, led by jury president Steven Spielberg, to the stage on May 15 at the famed Grand Théâtre Lumière.
Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Harvey Weinstein, Barack Obama reflect on the career and life of Roger Ebert
Acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert has written many words of praise over the years for celebrated, prolific filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Harvey Weinstein. Now, following the news of Ebert’s death on Thursday, these three filmmakers have their own words of admiration for Ebert.
Spielberg — whom Ebert praised for his enduring “talent and flexibility” in an ever-changing industry — said in a statement that the Chicago Sun-Times critic “wrote with passion through a real knowledge of film and film history.” Read his full statement below, which also highlights the success of the multiple television programs Ebert hosted for 23 years (including At the Movies, which Ebert co-hosted with Gene Siskel, who is pictured above): READ FULL STORY
As a child, Steven Spielberg was captivated by dinosaurs. He collected cast-iron figurines of them and preferred them in starring roles on the big screen. “I was more interested in the dinosaurs in King Kong than I was in King Kong himself,” remembers the Academy Award-winning director. “I thought the T. rex was one of the most awesome dinosaurs of the fossil record! But I never knew how to parlay all my love for paleontology into a story until Michael Crichton came along and wrote his book.”
That book was Jurassic Park, which Spielberg adapted in 1993 into an exhilarating adventure and one of the highest-grossing movies of all time—not to mention a groundbreaking technological achievement. “It changed special effects forever,” the director says, “and for better or for worse, it really did introduce the digital era.”
In honor of Universal rereleasing Jurassic Park in 3-D and IMAX on April 5 and the movie’s 20th anniversary, EW looks back at the film that so memorably shook the earth.
Spielberg and author Crichton had been developing a feature film based on Crichton’s script Cold Case, about his time as a medical resident (which would become the TV series ER). Crichton, who passed away from cancer in 2008, told the director about another idea he was working on: a novel about dinosaurs being brought back to life through old samples of their DNA. Spielberg was immediately hooked. When galleys for Jurassic Park made their way around Hollywood in May 1990, the sci-fi adventure became the It project to buy. According to Spielberg, other interested directors may have included Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon) and James Cameron (Avatar). Universal won the bidding war, thanks in large part to Spielberg’s relationship with Crichton. The director started storyboarding before the script was even written and quickly assembled an effects team. Creature master Stan Winston (Aliens) created the large-form models, including a nearly 20-foot-tall T. rex, and stop-motion artist Phil Tippett (RoboCop) would animate miniatures based on those Winston designs for the more elaborate action sequences. Then Industrial Light & Magic’s Dennis Muren, who had just designed the liquid-metal effects in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, brought up the idea of using CGI to animate the dinosaurs. Muren invited Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, and Tippett to watch a CG demo of a gallimimus stampede.
STEVEN SPIELBERG Director Here’s what was scary: We were creating the title characters of a film. These were the stars of the picture, these dinosaurs. And if that didn’t work, nothing about Jurassic Park could have worked. So that was daunting, because I was using Universal’s money to basically make an experimental dinosaur picture. READ FULL STORY
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