Updated with Spielberg statement! Steven Spielberg has delayed his return to sci-fi with Robopocalypse indefinitely

Robopocalypse book cover title

Updated: After the hullabaloo yesterday over the perceived cancellation of ROBOPOCALYPSE, Spielberg quickly clarified that the movie is far from dead - just gone completely back to the drawing board while he potentially works on other things in the interim.  I don't know, I thought that was clear enough from the original news, but here's the new news in the words of the man himself:

“'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.'

He said he’s not sure of the timeline for when they might shoot, let alone get it into theaters, but he estimated a delay of about six to eight months.  Spielberg was adamant that he wasn’t scratching Robopocalypse off his to-do list.  'Not at all. I’m working on it as we speak,' he said."


Original story: In the works for years now, ROBOPOCALYPSE was all set to be Steven Spielberg's return to big-budget sci-fi filmmaking after last decade's entries MINORITY REPORT and WAR OF THE WORLDS

The adaptation, announced as Spielberg's next in October 2010, came with a planned start date of January 2012 and a script from Drew Goddard (THE CABIN IN THE WOODS).  But then the project was tabled in favor of LINCOLN which, after having made over $145 million and very possibly scored Spielberg an Oscar nomination for Best Director (we'll know later today), seems like a pretty smart choice in retrospect.  Still, once LINCOLN wrapped the production soldiered on, casting Chris Hemsworth, Anne Hathaway, and Ben Whishaw over the last few months in preparation for what would have presumably been spring 2013 shoot. 

Except now that's all out the futuristic window, as Spielberg has elected to postpone ROBOPOCALYPSE for an undetermined period of time.  A spokesperson for Spielberg related that the project is "too important and the script is not ready, and it's too expensive to produce. It's back to the drawing board to see what is possible."   In related news, the legendary director shared in a recent interview (which is well worth reading) that he could direct an action film "in my sleep at this point in my career," and added "it doesn't attract me anymore."  Which I think it's safe to assume was definitely a part of his decision making process.  This could also, on a side note, as another nail in the "not doing Indy 5" coffin, which is probably just as well for a whole host of reasons really.

Are you sad that Spielberg has delayed his return to big-budget sci-fi, or do you prefer the place his career is going these days? And if you had your choice, what would you see him direct next?

Steven Spielberg directing

Extra Tidbit: Conversely, are there any fans of the book out there glad to see that it's not seeing an adaptation? At least, not one any time soon as Spielberg is presumably still on board to produce and would likely not let the project move forward with anybody until it had been reworked to his satisfaction.



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