spielberg Cold War movie

I called the upcoming Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg collaboration — currently referred to as the director’s Untitled Cold War Thrillerone of my most anticipated films of 2015. The movie sees Spielberg reunited with Hanks for a fourth big-screen collaboration, with a script polished by Ethan and Joel Coen and a cast that also includes Amy Ryan and Mark Rylance. Now we’ve got the first on-set image of Tom Hanks in the Spielberg cold war movie, and you can see it below. Read More »

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The BFG

Steven Spielberg has chosen a newcomer to play Sophie, the young girl at the center of his next film The BFG. The character Sophie is a young Londoner who meets a “big friendly giant,” to be played by Mark Rylance. Now Ruby Barnhill is The BFG star — she will play Sophie in the film scripted by Melissa Mathison based on the book by Roald Dahl. More info is below. Read More »

Epic Rap Battle Spielberg Hitchcock

The Epic Rap Battles of History video series has been going for a couple years. The crew behind the show, which is in its fourth “season,” consistently manages to create simple beats and entertainingly brutal verbal disses by ringleaders Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist, and some impressive costumes for the core cast that performs as various figures from history, pop culture, and the creative scene. The latest entry pits Steven Spielberg against Alfred Hitchcock in a multi-act verse showdown. But this is an extra-long episode — typically each combatant gets a couple rounds in — with two big guns stars. Check out the epic rap battle between Spielberg and Hitchcock below. Read More »

Why Was The Triceratops Sick In Jurassic Park?

I was watching Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film Jurassic Park over the weekend and my friend Reza had a question that I never actually thought about before: Why was the triceratops sick in Jurassic Park? Did it tie into the bigger plot of the film? We researched the answer, and I thought you might enjoy the result. Find out why the Triceratops was sick in Jurassic Park after the jump.

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last starfighter remake

The Last Starfighter has seen a nice little bump in nostalgic recognition over the past few days. The reason? This awesome “Modern Trailer,” which /Film was among the first to post. Many fans have been watch the trailer and wondering the same thing I wondered in the text of the piece. Why hasn’t this fantastic, yet underrated movie, with a premise so perfectly engrained in modern pop culture, been remade yet?

Several filmmakers and writers, among them Star Wars stand alone writer Gary Whitta and actor/writer/director Seth Rogen, have been discussing this topic on Twitter. Each has looked into getting the rights. As it turns out, they are near impossible to acquire. How impossible? Steven Spielberg himself couldn’t get the Last Starfighter remake rights. Read More »

interstellar script differences steven spielberg christopher nolan and jonathan nolan

You can now see Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar in theaters, but the movie was originally developed by Nolan’s brother Jonathan Nolan for director Steven Spielberg. In fact, I first reported on the project almost eight and a half years ago. As the story goes, Spielberg got the idea for the film after attending a Caltech workshop. There, physicist Kip S. Thorne, an expert on relativity known for his prolific contributions to the fields of gravitation physics and astrophysics, presented his controversial theories about wormholes. Jonathan Nolan was hired to develop the screenplay for Spielberg, which he originally hoped to direct after Lincoln. Of course, that didn’t happen. Christopher Nolan explained how he got involved during a press conference I attended in Beverly Hills:

[I] was talking to Jonah [Nolan] about the script he was working on with Steven Spielberg at the time. We’d bounce ideas off each other and it sounded incredibly exciting … I had the advantage of coming onto the project late and being able to look at what these guys [Jonah Nolan and Kip Thorne] had done. A lot of my contribution was ripping things out, because they put in more of these incredible mind blowing ideas that, I felt, I could absorb as an audience member. So I spent my time and my work on the script choosing the more emotive and tactile of these ideas to grab ahold of. … [Jonah] got very busy doing other things so I said, ‘Hey can I take this and combine it with some other ideas I’ve been working on’ — it was a bit more like him going ‘okay, take a shot, we’ll see what you do.’ So I showed him what I had done and he seemed reasonably happy with it.

The reason Christopher Nolan shares the screenwriting credit on the final film with Jonathan Nolan is because he reworked the original script with substantial changes. This left me wondering about the evolution of the project, and how different Steven Spielberg’s version of the film might have looked. Of course, we’ll never see Spielberg’s version but Jonathan Nolan’s 2008 draft of the screenplay has been floating around the tracking boards for some time. Investigating that draft gives us an opportunity to see how the story changed from when Jonathan Nolan was working on it under Spielberg to Christopher Nolan’s final film.

What are the biggest differences and changes? Find out the 15 biggest Interstellar script differences, after the jump.

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Jonathan Nolan

A couple weeks back I got a chance to talk to Jonathan Nolan, the brother of filmmaker Christopher Nolan and co-screenwriter of Interstellar. Jonah started developing Interstellar as a project for Steven Spielberg to direct, before getting sucked into the television world showrunning Person Of Interest for Bad Robot. Jonathan has also been making the transition into directing, helming the pilot of the HBO/Bad Robot television adaptation of Michael Crichton’s Westworld (which we talk about briefly). Read all this and more in our Jonathan Nolan interstellar interview, after the jump.

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Casting Elliott in ET

I really love what The Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences has been doing lately with their Academy Originals series of videos which take a look at the art and stories behind the making of the movies we love. The latest video features Casting director Marci Liroff (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Mean Girls) recounting the story of how Henry Thomas was cast as the lead in Steven Spielberg‘s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

As it turns out, Thomas was not the first choice for the role of Elliot. Liroff describes how a game of Dungeons & Dragons at screenwriter Melissa Mathison (who is finally returning to screenwriting for Spielberg’s adaptation of The BFG) changed the corse of a cinema classic, leading to the audition video I’m sure you’ve seen before. Hit the jump to watch the video now.

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