The internet was locked in a heated debate last night after a viral tweet saw fans trying to name the best three features that Steven Spielberg has directed since the turn of the millennium. Given that the in-development semi-autobiographical drama The Fabelmans will be his fifteenth feature since 2000, there’s plenty to choose from.
As fate would have it, many critics are lauding the West Side Story remake as one of the legendary filmmaker’s best efforts in decades, and while it was initially greeted with skepticism when Spielberg was announced to be helming a retread of a project that’s already gained classic status and won eleven Academy Awards from twelve nominations, the majority of doubts have now been assuaged.
The three-time Academy Award winner freely admits that one of the driving forces behind West Side Story was his desire to tackle a musical for the first time, and in a recent interview with Yahoo Movies, Spielberg teased that he’s already planning his next trip into uncharted territory.
“I was asked that question over the last 40 years of my career, if not longer, and I always said a musical was the one thing I haven’t done. The thing I neglected to say, which I’ve never done, and the one genre that I haven’t really tackled yet, is the Western. So, who knows, maybe I’ll be putting on spurs someday, who knows?”
Given that John Ford has always been cited as one of his major influences, the only surprise about Spielberg toying with a Western is that it’s taken him so long to get around to it. Based on how he’s freely mastered almost every genre he’s lent his hand to over the last 45 years, we’d love to see it happen.