Just when you thought maybe the Great Director was burning out a bit, unaware of his own indulgences, Steven Spielberg speaks up and honestly and sounds just like the same casual, populist entertainer we’ve come to love and appreciate more than most.
On Jurassic Park IV: “The screenplay is being written right now by Mark Protosevich. I’m hoping that will come out in the next couple of years. We have a good story. We have a better story for four than we had for three…”
Protosevich has made a career of writing BIG, from The Cell to Poseidon to I Am Legend to a recent story credit on Thor. The Jurassic Park franchise seems right up his alley. And for those who don’t remember what the story for Jurassic Park III was (I’m with you there), it concerned the quirky Kirby couple (Tea Leoni and Willian H. Macy) convincing Alan Grant (Sam Neill) to head to Isla Sorna (the second Dino-lab) only to find some dinosaurs had broken out there as well. Not the most original tale, but the execution was entertaining enough, thanks to director Joe Johnston’s Spielberg-ian like tendencies.
Speaking of better stories, Spielberg talked a bit about George Lucas and the fifth Indy film: “George is in charge of breaking the stories. He’s done it on all four movies. Whether I like the stories or not, George has broken all the stories. He is working on Indy V. We haven’t gone to screenplay yet, but he’s working on the story. I’ll leave it to George to come up with a good story.”
It’s not always so easy to remember that Lucas wrote all of the Indy stories – yes, even the good ones. And on the known disagreement Lucas and Spielberg has on the direction the story went on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?
“I’m very happy with the movie. I always have been… I sympathise with people who didn’t like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin. George and I had big arguments about the MacGuffin. I didn’t want these things to be either aliens or inter-dimensional beings. But I am loyal to my best friend. When he writes a story he believes in – even if I don’t believe in it – I’m going to shoot the movie the way George envisaged it. I’ll add my own touches, I’ll bring my own cast in, I’ll shoot the way I want to shoot it, but I will always defer to George as the storyteller of the Indy series. I will never fight him on that.”
The man goes on to defend and take responsibility for that gopher at the opening of the film (“The gopher was good. I have the stand-in one at home”) and that fridge situation (“Don’t blame George. That was my silly idea. People stopped saying “jump the shark”. They now say, “nuked the fridge”. I’m proud of that. I’m glad I was able to bring that into popular culture.”).
Nothing like a little accountability from a mainstream filmmaker, meshed with pride for said “mistakes.” Well played, Stevie, well played.
What do you think of Spielberg continuing his most famous franchises? His comments on past franchise mistakes?
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