If you were a Steven Spielberg fan who had ambivalence over Robopocalypse, get ready for some more rupturing. Much as I hate to see any master filmmaker hit bumps in the road, it was kind of relieving to hear, last night, that his futuristic actioner — based on a (from what I’ve constantly heard) mediocre book — couldn’t be nailed down and that some face lifts were required. The way I saw it was this: sure, time had been wasted, but this is a filmmaker clothed in immense power like none other before. He could just move to some other avenue in the blink of an eye, and we’d forget this all ever happened.
But he won’t. When tasked on the delay by both EW and Deadline, Spielberg made clear that the film isn’t so much dead, as many had thought, but simply needs a creative refurbish. Going off what’s been said, it’s clear that the Robopocalypse being put together was becoming an impersonal, unnecessary project for the director. (That is, what I and many others had been thinking.) Look at some of his choices in words: only recently has he “found another way to tell the story,” and this other way, more significantly, is one that he could tell “much more personally.”
After Lincoln‘s Oscar campaign hits a close, a new draft begins. Now’s as good a time as any to point out his comments leaning toward a rewrite of whatever Drew Goddard had conjured; if the Cabin in the Woods co-scribe isn’t kept — since Spielberg says he’ll “take a half a year to get it to the place that I need it,” I’ll bet it’s the case — this might come to be a rare film of his with a personal writing credit. (Somewhat ironically, the last was A.I., a film he’s cited as fitting in with Robopocalypse‘s man vs. technology vibe.) Make of what you will the plans to “[start] on a new script.”
Robopocalypse was, until recently, scheduled to open on April 25th, 2014, but, with this estimated push, that should delay the project back to Christmas of 2014 at the earliest; if he does something else in the interim (maybe a small-scale project), it could go even longer. With a more Spielberg-ian touch breaking from its source, the wait is tolerable, and the movie has a better chance of turning out right. Thanks to a little maneuvering on his own part — just like Abraham Lincoln and his seemingly-divergent tales — Robopocalypse has my attention.
Does this shift on Robopocalypse sound like a good one for Spielberg?
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