An understanding of why Steven Spielberg would follow two successes — The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse — and a Daniel Day-Lewis-led Lincoln biopic with Robopocalypse is, among other things, something he and I don’t have in common. The director’s involvement gives me an understandable, obvious sense of optimism about the project — one that, otherwise, wouldn’t be present — but, regardless, I simply can’t wrap my head around the notion of taking on a book that sounds like junk, no matter the filmmaker doing so.
An interview with Time Out London (via ThePlaylist) cleared this up, if just a tad. On the surface, Spielberg described Robopocalypse as “a movie about a global war between man and machine,” but he went deeper by comparing the process to building the world of Minority Report, or “a future that is coming true faster than any of us thought it would.” (This is an echo of sentiments shared by Kathleen Kennedy last month.) So when we get into the philosophical elements of the thing, it turns out to center on “the consequences of creating technologies which make our lives easier, and what happens when that technology becomes smarter than we are.” While he acknowledges that this has been done plenty of times before, the director considers it to be “a theme that becomes more relevant every year.”
I’m reminded of something that most people seem to forget: just how dark Spielberg went in the past ten years with A.I. and Minority Report, both of which portray our future as oppressive, tiring, Janusz Kaminski-style worlds that we’re only helping to create with each passing day. Not entirely “fun” to experience, but I admire the audacity on Spielberg‘s part to break from the kind of popcorn entertainment that he made a name on, all while doing a big blockbuster. With that in mind, Robopocalypse feels like a slightly more sensible option.
Another interview, this one chronicled in Collider, had him calling the film “a cautionary tale about war between human beings and robots,” but also “a big crowd pleaser, [...] a big action popcorn movie with a message”; the filmmaker was also quoted as saying that “[t]he message is actually in the popcorn.” (I don’t know what that means, but I love it.) And, when talking about Spielberg-related popcorn films, my main area of interest comes into play: Tintin.
While Spielberg‘s “not going to say which stories have been chosen for Peter Jackson’s sequel,” as that’s sensitive material, it was confirmed that a script — one combining two books with half of Secret of the Unicorn, which was partially adapted the first time around — is being written for Jackson to direct this year. Spielberg will then helm the third film, with his reasoning coming down to, “because I had so much fun on the first one.” Just like I had fun watching it.
The final comment of any weight — no, expressing pride in Lincoln doesn’t count — pertains to Jurassic Park IV. Spielberg first confirmed that he wouldn’t be directing it — which you already knew — and then dodged questions about it being a reboot or a continuation of the first three. Joe Johnston — who I’ve always assumed would be directing — has said, twice over, that it would be the beginning of a second trilogy, which is… kind of a mix between continuation and reboot. Anyone terribly invested should know that, if it actually does hit in 2013 or 2014, some idea of their direction will come in the near future.
Are you looking forward to any of Spielberg’s future films?
Welcome to the latest episode of our official podcast, The Film Stage Show. This week, Danny King, Amanda Waltz, and I discuss Don Hertzfeldt’s new short film World of Tomorrow, which will be released on March 31st on VOD (or stream below). Then we dive into a feature review of David Robert Mitchell‘s horror film It Follows, which […]
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