Spielberg gonna Spielberg, y’all. With his Oscar-contender THE POST now in theaters and making the awards circuit rounds, with the release of his tentpole sci-fi adventure READY PLAYER ONE just around the corner, Steven Spielberg is reportedly gearing up for his next two directing gigs because he is a filmmaking force that cannot be contained.
Deadline reports that Spielberg has a number of possible projects in the air, but the filmmaker is eyeing Disney’s untitled INDIANA JONES 5 with a plan to either precede or follow with another movie in short order. And that other movie might just be Spielberg’s passion project, a new adaptation of WEST SIDE STORY.
The next INDY film has been in the works since 2015, when Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy confirmed the wheels were in motion for another sequel. Frequent Spielberg collaborator David Koepp (SPIDER-MAN, JURASSIC PARK) was brought on board to pen the script and the film was slated for a summer 2019 release until Spielberg decided to sneak in his timely journalism drama The Post. INDIANA JONES 5 is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on July 10, 2020. Koepp told us last fall that they already had a script they were pretty happy with and that getting in front of cameras all comes down to timing.
As for WEST SIDE STORY, Spielberg has been interested in adapting the classic star-crossed-lovers musical drama for years. The filmmaker previously described it as “one of the greatest pieces of musical literature,” and per the report, Tony Kushner (MUNICH, LINCOLN), another of Spielberg’s frequent collaborators, has been working on the script. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins directed the original 1961 film adaptation based on the Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, and Arthur Laurents musical.
Spielberg also still has THE KIDNAPPING OF EDGARDO MORTARA on his radar, which was set to star Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac before the project cooled. According to Deadline, the Kushner-scripted project ran into trouble when Spielberg tried to cast the film’s young lead, for which he saw over 2000 child actors. The report also notes that Spielberg is open to another script if it empassions him the way Liz Hannah‘s script for THE POST did.
So while it remains to be seen exactly what Spielberg will line up next, the good news is that the filmmaker doesn’t seem to have any plans of slowing down. Of course, Spielberg developing multiple projects in tandem isn’t exactly new. The legendary filmmaker is known for delivering back-to-back whammies. Most famously, he turned out JURASSIC PARK and SCHINDLER’S LIST in 1993, but let’s not forget he’s also the guy who double featured MINORITY REPORT and CATCH ME IF YOU CAN in 2002, and WAR OF THE WORLDS and MUNICH in 2005. Prolific doesn’t quite cover it.