One fleeting look at Steven Spielberg’s IMDb page, which remains a hive of activity even at this stage in his career, will tell you that the director has no shortage of projects in the works, what with The BFG, Ready Player One and long-rumored sequel Indiana Jones 5 all incubating in various stages of production.
But there’s one project in particular that has been languishing in development for years at this point, and that’s Spielberg’s adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson’s cerebral sci-fi, Robopocalypse. Each time the revered filmmaker is quizzed on the status of the big-screen rendition, he reaffirms that his interpretation of Wilson’s work is delayed, not dead.
And that’s a view echoed by screenwriter Drew Goddard, who shed light on his time spent working with Spielberg on Robopocalypse with Creative Screenwriting. Fresh off his work on Ridley Scott’s The Martian, Goddard was overly positive about the experience, noting that directors never want to step in front of the cameras “until the project feels right.”
It’s always positive. You know going in with screenwriting that it’s a volatile business and you have to take the long view rather than the short view. There are so many times when projects don’t go at a certain release date but find a better home later. It’s all about timing. You never want a movie to get made when it’s the wrong time, and these things have a way of working themselves out.
Especially as a director now, I get it. You never want to start shooting until the project feels right, so you take your time to get it right. I think when you look at it in the short term they can seem like setbacks, but the more I do this the more I realize that what seems like a setback in the moment can also be the best possible thing that happens for a film.
Whether that comes down to the complex nature of Robopocalypse or simply Steven Spielberg’s crowded slate is up for question, though we imagine it’s the latter. One sci-fi adaptation at a time, surely, with the filmmaker currently prepping Ready Player One with Olivia Cooke for 2017.
Source: Creative Screenwriting