HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Steven Spielberg attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Why The Fabelmans Isn't Called 'The Spielbergs'
Steven Spielberg said writer Tony Kushner helped him tackle “The Fabelmans,” as he revealed during his Best Director Golden Globe acceptance, “I've never had the courage to hit this story head on until Tony Kushner [...] said 'start telling me all these stories about your life.'” While “The Fabelmans” is deeply personal, Kushner explained why the film isn’t titled “The Spielbergs.”
Kushner said he renamed the Spielberg family for semantics. He explained to The Hollywood Reporter, “I've always liked the German word 'fabel,' which means fable. And because the movie is autobiographical for Steven but it isn't an autobiography, it's not a documentary, so there's a fictional element as well. So I thought that 'Fabelman' was a nod to that.”
Since their first pairing together on “Munich,” Tony Kushner has been just as invested in telling Spielberg's childhood story as the man himself. As an artist who has always been more comfortable approaching themes through the emotional safety of metaphor, Spielberg needed a screenwriter like Kushner to help him open up and confront his memories directly.