Steven Spielberg Says 'Robopocalypse' Merely Delayed, Not Dead

One of the big stories this week was that Robopocalypse, believed to be the next film from Steven Spielberg, had been put on indefinite hold. Problems with cracking the story, based on the novel by Daniel Wilson and scripted by Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, The Cabin in the Woods) had led to the delay, and the wording of the report made the film appear to be not only delayed, but potentially dead.

That's not the case, says Spielberg. The delay is real, but he proclaims that the movie will happen before too much time elapses.

Spielberg told EW that he's working on Robopocalypse right now (not a bad way to celebrate all those Oscar nominations for Lincoln, I guess) and that the delay is necessary to make the project work:

We found that the film was costing a lot of money and I found a better way to tell the story more economically but also much more personally. I found the personal way into Robopocalypse, and so I just told everybody to go find other jobs, I'm starting on a new script and we'll have this movie back on its feet soon.

How long does he mean by "soon"? Reportedly, six to eight months before shooting might start, though that time frame shouldn't be taken as firm. Presumably the "new script" is a new draft of this film, not an entirely new project. That new draft would incorporate his more personal angle and allow the film to stand on its own.

Update: Deadline also reports quotes from the director about the continuation of this project:

(In terms of the delay), I found another way to tell the story. I had an epiphany and I only have had these a couple of time [sic] during the course of my work and whenever those voices occur, I need to listen to them. I found another way to tell the story, it's a much more personal story for me. I let my cast and crew go make other movies, while I take a half a year to get it to the place that I need it.

Will he make another movie first? "I don't know... I'm going to wait until March when I'm going to redevelop it," he explained.

Here's the recap of the novel:

Not far into our future, the dazzling technology that runs our world turns against us. Controlled by a childlike—yet massively powerful—artificial intelligence known as Archos, the global network of machines on which our world has grown dependent suddenly becomes an implacable, deadly foe. At Zero Hour—the moment the robots attack—the human race is almost annihilated, but as its scattered remnants regroup, humanity for the first time unites in a determined effort to fight back. This is the oral history of that conflict, told by an international cast of survivors who experienced this long and bloody confrontation with the machines. Brilliantly conceived and amazingly detailed, Robopocalypse is an action-packed epic with chilling implications about the real technology that surrounds us.