What is Steven Spielberg directing next?

Chris Tilly
steven-spielberg-on-west-side-story-set20th Century Studios

Rumors have been circulating that Steven Spielberg has discussed directing forthcoming Marvel movie The Fantastic Four. So we’re looking at his schedule to see what’s next for the Hollywood legend, and whether his future might involve the MCU.

Steven Spielberg is the most successful director in history. In a film career that has lasted just over 50 years, he’s made 33 features that have grossed billions and billions (and billions) at the global box office.

But at 75 years of age, he’s entering the twilight of his career, meaning he’s choosing his projects more carefully than ever. Spielberg’s dream had always been to make a musical, and he did just that with 2021’s West Side Story.

So what’s next for Spielberg? The following is a list of potential projects, including The Fantastic Four. But we’re kicking off with one that’s just around the corner.

Meet The Fablemans

The Fablemans is a coming-of-age story, loosely based on Spielberg’s own childhood. Spielberg has co-written the script with Tony Kushner, who previously penned Munich, Lincoln, and West Side Story.

Set in Arizona, the film stars Gabriel LaBelle as a young Spielberg-esque filmmaker, while Paul Dano and Michelle Williams play his parents, Seth Rogen has been cast as his favorite uncle, and David Lynch is playing an as-yet-undisclosed role. Though we can totally see him as an inspiring film teacher.

Longtime cinematographer Janusz Kamiński is also working on the movie, and told Discussing Film this of the project: “It’s a very emotional movie that tells the story of Spielberg from the age of seven to 18. It deals with his family, with his parents, conundrums with his sisters, but primarily deals with his passion for moviemaking.”

The Fablemans hits screens worldwide in November.

Frank Bullitt movie

steve-mcqueen-in-bullittWarner Bros.
Steve McQueen in Bullitt.

Frank Bullitt was the non-nonsense cop played by Steve McQueen is action-thriller Bullitt back in 1968. According to Deadline, Spielberg wanted to make a movie about the character as his follow-up to West Side Story.

When negotiations with McQueen’s estate took too long, he segued into The Fablemans. But with that film pretty much in the can, and the McQueen deal done, he’s now gunning for Bullitt.

Josh Singer – who wrote The Post for Spielberg – is working on the script, which will be a new story rather than a remake of the original. Though the fact that the 1968 film features the most famous car chase in film history means that there will doubtless be some form of automobile action in this version.

Deadline does add, however, that “this would likely not be the next project Spielberg directs.”

A Steven Spielberg Western

The two classic American genres are the musical and the Western, and it seems incredible that the country’s foremost filmmaker had tackled neither until last year. But with West Side Story ticking the musical box, Spielberg is now thinking about saddling up.

Speaking to Yahoo, the director said: “The one genre that I haven’t really tackled yet, is the Western. So, who knows, maybe I’ll be putting on spurs someday.”

As for what that film might be, Spielberg added: “I got a few in development right now, but who’s to say which one’s going to spring to the forefront.”

The Fantastic Four and Blackhawk

Steven Spielberg directing The Fantastic Four is a rumor that circulated yesterday. But the fact that he was potentially asked by – and maybe even met with – Kevin Feige and the Marvel brain-trust doesn’t mean he’s visiting the MCU anytime soon.

Plus most of the chatter claimed that he has no interest in the project, so file this one under wishful thinking. For now.

There is one comic book project on Steven Spielberg’s schedule, however: Blackhawk, a DC Comics property about a battalion of badass WWII pilots called Blackhawk Squadron.

Following the success of Ready Player One, Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich told Variety: “We are so proud to be the studio behind Steven Spielberg’s latest hit, and are thrilled to be working with him again on this new action adventure. We can’t wait to see what new ground he will break in introducing Blackhawk to movie audiences worldwide.”

While Spielberg himself said: “It was wonderful working with the team at Warner Bros. to bring Ready Player One to the screen. They bring a blend of passion and professionalism to everything they do and have a tremendous history in this genre. I am excited to reunite with them on Blackhawk.”

But – and there’s a big but – that was back in 2018. More recently writer David Koepp gave Collider an update that was less encouraging than those quotes. Koepp revealed that the script is done, then added that at this point if Spielberg doesn’t helm, “I hope he produces it, [and] someone great direct.”

So file this one under maybe.

Nothing!

There have been other projects in development over the last few years. A Ulysses S. Grant project has been on his IMDb page for seemingly ever. An adaptation of photojournalist Lynsey Addario’s memoir It’s What I Do that was supposed to star Jennifer Lawrence, but ultimately went nowhere.

Most recently Spielberg was set to direct period piece The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, with Mark Rylance playing Pope Pius XI. But that got postponed, which at this point might mean cancelled.

But with his new film going back to where it all began, and with cinematographer Janusz Kamiński calling it “a very beautiful personal movie” that’s “very revealing about Steven’s life and who he is as a filmmaker,” maybe The Fablemans will be Spielberg’s last feature. If so, it would be a fitting place to end a truly remarkable career.

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