STEVEN ALLAN SPIELBERG, KBE , OMRI (born December 18, 1946) is an
American director, producer, and screenwriter. He is considered one of
the founding pioneers of the
New Hollywood era , as well as being
viewed as one of the most popular directors and producers in film
history. He is also one of the co-founders of
DreamWorks Studios .
In a career spanning more than four decades, Spielberg\'s films have
spanned many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and
adventure films, such as Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), and E.T. the
Extra-Terrestrial (1982), were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood
escapist filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing
humanistic issues such as the Holocaust , the transatlantic slave
trade , civil rights , war, and terrorism in such films as The Color
Purple (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), Schindler\'s List (1993),
Saving Private Ryan (1998),
Munich (2005), War Horse
(2011), Lincoln (2012), and Bridge of Spies (2015). His other films
Jurassic Park (1993),
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), and
War of the Worlds (2005).
Spielberg won the
Academy Award for Best Director
Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler's
List and Saving Private Ryan, as well as receiving five other
nominations. Three of Spielberg's films—Jaws, E.T. the
Extra-Terrestrial, and Jurassic Park—achieved box office records,
originated and came to epitomize the blockbuster film. The unadjusted
gross of all Spielberg-directed films exceeds $9 billion worldwide,
making him the highest-grossing director in history . His personal net
worth is estimated to be more than $3 billion. He is also known for
his long-standing associations with several actors, producers, and
technicians, most notably composer
John Williams , who has composed
music for all but three of Spielberg's films (The Color Purple, Bridge
of Spies, and
Ready Player One
Ready Player One ).
* 1 Early life
* 2 Career
* 2.1 1970s
* 2.2 1980s
* 2.3 1990s
* 2.4 2000s
* 2.5 2010s
* 2.6 Upcoming projects
* 2.6.1 Projects on hold
* 2.7 Production credits
* 2.8 Onscreen appearances
* 2.9 Involvement in video games
* 3 Themes
* 4 Frequent collaborators
* 4.1 Actors
* 4.2 Other collaborations
* 5 Personal life
* 5.1 Marriages and children
* 5.2 Religion
* 5.3 Wealth
* 5.4 Yachting
* 5.5 Recognition
* 5.6 Politics
* 5.7 Hobbies
* 6 Awards and honors
* 7 Filmography
* 8 Praise and criticism
* 8.1 Other
* 9 See also
* 10 References
* 11 Further reading
* 12 External links
Spielberg was born in
Ohio , to an Orthodox Jewish
family. His mother, Leah Posner (later Adler) (January 12, 1920 –
February 21, 2017), was a restaurateur and concert pianist, and his
Arnold Spielberg (born 1917), was an electrical engineer
involved in the development of computers. His paternal grandparents
were emigrants from
Ukraine who settled in
Cincinnati in the first
decade of the 1900s. In 1950, his family moved to Haddon Township ,
New Jersey , when his father took a job with RCA. Three years later,
the family moved to Phoenix ,
Arizona . :548 Spielberg attended Hebrew
school from 1953 to 1957, in classes taught by Rabbi
Albert L. Lewis .
As a child, Spielberg faced difficulty reconciling being an Orthodox
Jew with the perception of him by other children he played with. "It
isn't something I enjoy admitting," he once said, "but when I was
seven, eight, nine years old, God forgive me, I was embarrassed
because we were Orthodox Jews. I was embarrassed by the outward
perception of my parents' Jewish practices. I was never really ashamed
to be Jewish, but I was uneasy at times." Spielberg also said he
suffered from acts of anti-Semitic prejudice and bullying: "In high
school, I got smacked and kicked around. Two bloody noses. It was
His first home movie was of a train wreck involving his toy Lionel
trains, then age 12. Throughout his early teens, and after entering
high school, Spielberg continued to make amateur 8 mm "adventure"
In 1958, he became a Boy Scout and fulfilled a requirement for the
photography merit badge by making a nine-minute 8 mm film entitled The
Last Gunfight. Years later, Spielberg recalled to a magazine
interviewer, "My dad's still-camera was broken, so I asked the
scoutmaster if I could tell a story with my father's movie camera. He
said yes, and I got an idea to do a Western. I made it and got my
merit badge. That was how it all started." At age thirteen, while
living in Phoenix, Spielberg won a prize for a 40-minute war film he
titled Escape to Nowhere, using a cast composed of other high school
friends. That motivated him to make 15 more amateur 8mm films. :548 In
1963, at age sixteen, Spielberg wrote and directed his first
independent film, a 140-minute science fiction adventure called
Firelight , which would later inspire Close Encounters. The film was
made for $500, most of which came from his father, and was shown in a
local cinema for one evening, which earned back its cost.
After attending Arcadia High School in Phoenix for three years, his
family next moved to Saratoga ,
California where he later graduated
from Saratoga High School in 1965. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout
. His parents divorced while he was still in school, and soon after
he graduated Spielberg moved to
Los Angeles , staying initially with
his father. His long-term goal was to become a film director. His
three sisters and mother remained in Saratoga.
In Los Angeles, he applied to the University of Southern California
's film school, but was turned down because of his "C" grade average.
:548 He then applied and was admitted to
California State University,
Long Beach , where he became a brother of
Theta Chi Fraternity .
While still a student, he was offered a small unpaid intern job at
Universal Studios with the editing department. He was later given
the opportunity to make a short film for theatrical release, the
26-minute, 35mm, Amblin\' , which he wrote and directed. Studio vice
Sidney Sheinberg was impressed by the film, which had won a
number of awards, and offered Spielberg a seven-year directing
contract. It made him the youngest director ever to be signed for a
long-term deal with a major Hollywood studio. :548 He subsequently
dropped out of college to begin professionally directing TV
productions with Universal. Spielberg later returned to Cal State
Long Beach and completed his BA degree in Film and
Electronic Arts in
His first professional TV job came when he was hired to direct one of
the segments for the 1969 pilot episode of Night Gallery , written by
Rod Serling and would star
Joan Crawford . Crawford, however, was
"speechless, and then horrified" at the thought of a
twenty-one-year-old newcomer directing her, one of Hollywood's leading
stars. "Why was this happening to me?" she asked the producer. Her
attitude changed after they began working on her scenes:
When I began to work with Steven, I understood everything. It was
immediately obvious to me, and probably everyone else, that here was a
young genius. I thought maybe more experience was important, but then
I thought of all of those experienced directors who didn't have
Steven's intuitive inspiration and who just kept repeating the same
old routine performances. That was called "experience."
I knew then that
Steven Spielberg had a brilliant future ahead of
him. Hollywood doesn't always recognize talent, but Steven's was not
going to be overlooked. I told him so in a note I wrote him. I wrote
to Rod Serling, too. I was so grateful that he had approved Steven as
the director. I told him he had been totally right.
She and Spielberg were reportedly close friends until her death. The
episode is unusual in his body of work, in that the camerawork is more
highly stylized than his later, more "mature" films. After this, and
an episode of
Marcus Welby, M.D. , Spielberg got his first
feature-length assignment: an episode of The Name of the Game called
L.A. 2017 ". This futuristic science fiction episode impressed
Universal Studios and they signed him to a short contract. He did
another segment on Night Gallery and did some work for shows such as
Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law and The Psychiatrist, before landing
the first series episode of Columbo (previous episodes were actually
Based on the strength of his work, Universal signed Spielberg to do
four TV films. The first was a
Richard Matheson adaptation called Duel
. The film is about a psychotic
Peterbilt 281 tanker truck driver who
chases the terrified driver (
Dennis Weaver ) of a small Plymouth
Valiant and tries to run him off the road.
Special praise of this film
by the influential British critic
Dilys Powell was highly significant
to Spielberg's career. Another TV film (
Something Evil ) was made and
released to capitalize on the popularity of The Exorcist , then a
major best-selling book which had not yet been released as a film. He
fulfilled his contract by directing the TV film-length pilot of a show
called Savage, starring
Martin Landau . Spielberg's debut full-length
feature film was
The Sugarland Express , about a married couple who
are chased by police as the couple tries to regain custody of their
baby. Spielberg's cinematography for the police chase was praised by
The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter stated that "a major new
director is on the horizon." :223 However, the film fared poorly at
the box office and received a limited release.
Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown offered Spielberg
the director's chair for Jaws , a thriller-horror film based on the
Peter Benchley novel about an enormous killer shark . Spielberg has
often referred to the gruelling shoot as his professional crucible.
Despite the film's ultimate, enormous success, it was nearly shut down
due to delays and budget over-runs. But Spielberg persevered and
finished the film. It was an enormous hit, winning three Academy
Awards (for editing, original score and sound) and grossing more than
$470 million worldwide at the box office. It also set the domestic
record for box office gross, leading to what the press described as
"Jawsmania." :248 Jaws made Spielberg a household name and one of
America's youngest multi-millionaires, allowing him a great deal of
autonomy for his future projects. :250 It was nominated for Best
Picture and featured Spielberg's first of three collaborations with
Richard Dreyfuss .
Rejecting offers to direct
Jaws 2 , King Kong and Superman ,
Spielberg and actor
Richard Dreyfuss re-convened to work on a film
about UFOs , which became
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
One of the rare films both written and directed by Spielberg, Close
Encounters was a critical and box office hit, giving Spielberg his
first Best Director nomination from the Academy as well as earning six
Academy Awards nominations. It won Oscars in two categories
Vilmos Zsigmond , and a
Special Achievement Award for
Sound Effects Editing, Frank E. Warner). This second blockbuster
helped to secure Spielberg's rise. His next film, 1941 , a
World War II
World War II farce, was not nearly as successful and
though it grossed over $92.4 million worldwide (and did make a small
profit for co-producing studios Columbia and Universal) it was seen as
a disappointment, mainly with the critics.
Spielberg then revisited his Close Encounters project and, with
financial backing from Columbia Pictures, released Close Encounters:
Special Edition in 1980. For this, Spielberg fixed some of the
flaws he thought impeded the original 1977 version of the film and
also, at the behest of Columbia, and as a condition of Spielberg
revising the film, shot additional footage showing the audience the
interior of the mothership seen at the end of the film (a decision
Spielberg would later regret as he felt the interior of the mothership
should have remained a mystery). Nevertheless, the re-release was a
moderate success, while the 2001 DVD release of the film restored the
Next, Spielberg teamed with
Star Wars creator and friend George Lucas
on an action adventure film,
Raiders of the Lost Ark , the first of
Indiana Jones films. The archaeologist and adventurer hero Indiana
Jones was played by
Harrison Ford (whom Lucas had previously cast in
Star Wars films as
Han Solo ). The film was considered an homage
to the cliffhanger serials of the
Golden Age of Hollywood . It became
the biggest film at the box office in 1981, and the recipient of
numerous Oscar nominations including Best Director (Spielberg's second
nomination) and Best Picture (the second Spielberg film to be
nominated for Best Picture). Raiders is still considered a landmark
example of the action-adventure genre. The film also led to Ford's
Ridley Scott 's
Blade Runner .
A year later, Spielberg returned to the science fiction genre with
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial . It was the story of a young boy and the
alien he befriends, who was accidentally left behind by his companions
and is attempting to return home. E.T. went on to become the
top-grossing film of all time. It was also nominated for nine Academy
Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.
Between 1982 and 1985, Spielberg produced three high-grossing films:
Poltergeist (for which he also co-wrote the screenplay), a big-screen
adaptation of The
Twilight Zone (for which he directed the segment
"Kick The Can"), and
The Goonies (Spielberg, executive producer, also
wrote the story on which the screenplay was based). Spielberg
appeared in a cameo on
Cyndi Lauper 's music video for the movie's
theme song, "
The Goonies \'R\' Good Enough ". Steven Spielberg
Chandran Rutnam on a location in Sri Lanka during the filming of
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom .
His next directorial feature was the Raiders prequel Indiana Jones
and the Temple of Doom . Teaming up once again with Lucas and Ford,
the film was plagued with uncertainty for the material and script.
This film and the Spielberg-produced
Gremlins led to the creation of
the PG-13 rating due to the high level of violence in films targeted
at younger audiences. In spite of this, Temple of Doom is rated PG by
the MPAA, even though it is the darkest and, possibly, most violent
Indy film. Nonetheless, the film was still a huge blockbuster hit in
1984. It was on this project that Spielberg also met his future wife,
Kate Capshaw .
In 1985, Spielberg released
The Color Purple , an adaptation of Alice
Pulitzer Prize -winning novel of the same name , about a
generation of empowered African-American women during depression-era
Whoopi Goldberg and future talk-show superstar Oprah
Winfrey , the film was a box office smash and critics hailed
Spielberg's successful foray into the dramatic genre. Roger Ebert
proclaimed it the best film of the year and later entered it into his
Great Films archive. The film received eleven Academy Award
nominations, including two for Goldberg and Winfrey. However,
Spielberg did not get a Best Director nomination.
In 1987, as China began opening to Western capital investment,
Spielberg shot the first American film in Shanghai since the 1930s, an
J. G. Ballard 's autobiographical novel Empire of the
Sun , starring
John Malkovich and a young
Christian Bale . The film
garnered much praise from critics and was nominated for several
Oscars, but did not yield substantial box office revenues. Reviewer
Andrew Sarris called it the best film of the year and later included
it among the best films of the decade. Spielberg was also a
co-producer of the 1987 film *batteries not included .
After two forays into more serious dramatic films, Spielberg then
directed the third
Indiana Jones film, 1989's
Indiana Jones and the
Last Crusade . Once again teaming up with Lucas and Ford, Spielberg
also cast actor
Sean Connery in a supporting role as Indy's father.
The film earned generally positive reviews and was another box office
success, becoming the highest-grossing film worldwide that year; its
total box office receipts even topped those of Tim Burton's
much-anticipated film Batman , which had been the bigger hit
domestically. Also in 1989, he re-united with actor Richard Dreyfuss
for the romantic comedy-drama Always , about a daredevil pilot who
extinguishes forest fires. Spielberg's first romantic film, Always was
only a moderate success and had mixed reviews.
In 1991, Spielberg directed Hook , about a middle-aged
Peter Pan ,
Robin Williams , who returns to
Neverland . Despite
innumerable rewrites and creative changes coupled with mixed reviews,
the film proved popular with audiences, making over $300 million
worldwide (from a $70 million budget).
In 1993, Spielberg returned to the adventure genre with the film
Michael Crichton 's novel
Jurassic Park , about a theme
park with genetically engineered dinosaurs. With revolutionary special
effects provided by friend
George Lucas 's Industrial Light ">
Spielberg in March 1990
In 1994, Spielberg took a hiatus from directing to spend more time
with his family and build his new studio,
DreamWorks , with partners
Jeffrey Katzenberg and
David Geffen . In 1996, he directed the sequel
Jurassic Park with The Lost World:
Jurassic Park , which
generated over $618 million worldwide despite mixed reviews, and was
the second biggest film of 1997 behind
James Cameron 's Titanic (which
topped the original
Jurassic Park to become the new recordholder for
box office receipts).
His next film, Amistad , was based on a true story (like Schindler's
List), specifically about an African slave rebellion. Despite decent
reviews from critics, it did not do well at the box office. Spielberg
released Amistad under
DreamWorks Pictures, which has produced all of
his films from Amistad onwards with the exception of
Indiana Jones and
the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ,
The Adventures of Tintin and Ready
Player One .
His 1998 theatrical release was the
World War II
World War II film Saving Private
Ryan , about a group of U.S. soldiers led by Capt. Miller (
Tom Hanks )
sent to bring home a paratrooper whose three older brothers were
killed in the same twenty-four hours, June 5–6, of the Normandy
landing. The film was a huge box office success, grossing over $481
million worldwide and was the biggest film of the year at the North
American box office (worldwide it made second place after Michael
Bay's Armageddon ). Spielberg won his second
Academy Award for his
direction. The film's graphic, realistic depiction of combat violence
influenced later war films such as Black Hawk Down and Enemy at the
Gates . The film was also the first major hit for DreamWorks, which
co-produced the film with
Paramount Pictures (as such, it was
Spielberg's first release from the latter that was not part of the
Indiana Jones series). Later, Spielberg and
Tom Hanks produced a TV
mini-series based on
Stephen Ambrose 's book Band of Brothers . The
HBO mini-series follows Easy Company of the 101st Airborne
Division 's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The series won a number
of awards at the
Golden Globes and the Emmys .
In 2001, Spielberg filmed fellow director and friend Stanley Kubrick
's final project,
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
A.I. Artificial Intelligence which Kubrick was
unable to begin during his lifetime. A futuristic film about a
humanoid android longing for love, A.I. featured groundbreaking visual
effects and a multi-layered, allegorical storyline, adapted by
Spielberg himself. Though the film's reception in the US was
relatively muted, it performed better overseas for a worldwide total
box office gross of $236 million.
Spielberg and actor
Tom Cruise collaborated for the first time for
the futuristic neo-noir Minority Report , based upon the science
fiction short story written by
Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick about a Washington D.C.
police captain in the year 2054 who has been foreseen to murder a man
he has not yet met. The film received strong reviews with the review
Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 92% approval rating,
reporting that 206 out of the 225 reviews they tallied were positive.
The film earned over $358 million worldwide.
Roger Ebert , who named
it the best film of 2002, praised its breathtaking vision of the
future as well as for the way Spielberg blended CGI with live-action.
Spielberg in 2011, at the Paris premiere of The Adventures of
Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn .
Spielberg's 2002 film
Catch Me If You Can is about the daring
adventures of a youthful con artist (played by
Leonardo DiCaprio ). It
Christopher Walken an
Academy Award nomination for Best
Supporting Actor . The film is known for
John Williams ' score and its
unique title sequence . It was a hit both commercially and
Spielberg collaborated again with
Tom Hanks along with Catherine
Stanley Tucci in 2004's
The Terminal , a warm-hearted
comedy about a man of Eastern European descent who is stranded in an
airport. It received mixed reviews but performed relatively well at
the box office. In 2005, Empire magazine ranked Spielberg number one
on a list of the greatest film directors of all time.
Also in 2005, Spielberg directed a modern adaptation of War of the
Worlds (a co-production of Paramount and DreamWorks), based on the H.
G. Wells book of the same name (Spielberg had been a huge fan of the
book and the original 1953 film). It starred
Tom Cruise and Dakota
Fanning , and, as with past Spielberg films, Industrial Light it
remains one of Spielberg's most controversial films to date. Munich
Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture, Film
Editing, Original Music Score (by John Williams), Best Adapted
Screenplay, and Best Director for Spielberg. It was Spielberg's sixth
Best Director nomination and fifth Best Picture nomination.
In June 2006,
Steven Spielberg announced he would direct a
scientifically accurate film about "a group of explorers who travel
through a worm hole and into another dimension", from a treatment by
Kip Thorne and producer
Lynda Obst . In January 2007, screenwriter
Jonathan Nolan met with them to discuss adapting Obst and Thorne's
treatment into a narrative screenplay. The screenwriter suggested the
addition of a "time element" to the treatment's basic idea, which was
welcomed by Obst and Thorne. In March of that year, Paramount hired
Nolan, as well as scientists from
Caltech , forming a workshop to
adapt the treatment under the title Interstellar . The following
Kip Thorne said there was a push by people for him to portray
himself in the film. Spielberg later abandoned Interstellar, which
was eventually directed by
Christopher Nolan .
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
, which wrapped filming in October 2007 and was released on May 22,
2008. This was his first film not to be released by
1997. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and
was financially successful, grossing $786 million worldwide.
Spielberg at his masterclass at the
Cinémathèque Française in
January 2012. Spielberg promoting
The BFG at the 2016 Cannes
Film Festival .
In early 2009, Spielberg shot the first film in a planned trilogy of
motion capture films based on
The Adventures of Tintin , written by
Hergé , with
Peter Jackson . The Adventures of
Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn , was not released until October
2011, due to the complexity of the computer animation involved. The
world premiere took place on October 22, 2011 in
Brussels , Belgium.
The film was released in North American theaters on December 21, 2011,
Digital 3D and IMAX . It received generally positive reviews from
critics, and grossed over $373 million worldwide. The Adventures of
Tintin won the award for Best Animated Feature Film at the Golden
Globe Awards that year. It is the first non-
Pixar film to win the
award since the category was first introduced. Jackson has been
announced to direct the second film.
Spielberg followed with War Horse , shot in England in the summer of
2010. It was released just four days after The Adventures of Tintin,
on December 25, 2011. The film, based on the novel of the same name
Michael Morpurgo and published in 1982, follows the long
friendship between a British boy and his horse Joey before and during
World War I – the novel was also adapted into a hit play in London
which is still running there, as well as on Broadway. Distributed by
Disney Studios , with whom
DreamWorks made a distribution deal in
2009, War Horse was the first of four consecutive Spielberg films
released by Disney. War Horse received generally positive reviews from
critics, and was nominated for six
Academy Awards , including Best
Spielberg next directed the historical drama film Lincoln , starring
Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President
Abraham Lincoln and Sally
Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln . Based on
Doris Kearns Goodwin 's
bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of
Abraham Lincoln ,
the film covered the final four months of Lincoln's life. Written by
Tony Kushner , the film was shot in Richmond, Virginia, in late 2011,
and was released in the United States in November 2012. Upon
release, Lincoln received widespread critical acclaim, and was
nominated for twelve
Academy Awards (the most of any film that year)
including Best Picture and Best Director for Spielberg. It won the
award for Best Production Design and Day-Lewis won the Academy Award
for Best Actor for his portrayal of Lincoln, becoming the first
three-time winner in that category as well as the first to win for a
performance directed by Spielberg.
It was announced on May 2, 2013, that Spielberg would direct the film
about the story of U.S. sniper
Chris Kyle , titled American
However, on August 5, 2013, it was announced that Spielberg had
decided not to direct the film, which was instead directed by Clint
Spielberg directed 2015's Bridge of Spies , a Cold War thriller based
1960 U-2 incident
1960 U-2 incident , and focusing on
James B. Donovan 's
negotiations with the Soviets for the release of pilot Gary Powers
after his aircraft was shot down over Soviet territory. The film
Tom Hanks as Donovan, as well as
Mark Rylance ,
Amy Ryan , and
Alan Alda , with a script by the
Coen brothers . The film was shot
from September to December 2014 on location in New York City, Berlin
Wroclaw , Poland (which doubled for East Berlin), and was released
on October 16, 2015. Bridge of Spies received positive reviews from
critics, and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best
Picture; Rylance won the
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor ,
becoming the second actor to win for a performance directed by
The BFG is an adaptation of
Roald Dahl 's celebrated
children\'s story , starring newcomer
Ruby Barnhill , and Rylance as
the titular Big Friendly Giant.
DreamWorks bought the rights in 2010,
originally intending John Madden to direct. The film was the last to
be written by E.T. screenwriter
Melissa Mathison before she died. It
was co-produced and released by
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures , marking the
first Disney-branded film to be directed by Spielberg. The BFG
premiered out of competition at the
Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival on May 14,
2016 and received a wide release in the US on July 1, 2016.
Spielberg began filming an adaptation of the popular sci-fi novel
Ready Player One
Ready Player One by
Ernest Cline in London in July 2016, starring Tye
Olivia Cooke ,
Ben Mendelsohn ,
Simon Pegg and Mark
Rylance . It was originally slated to be released on December 15,
Warner Bros. , but was pushed back to March 30, 2018, to
avoid competition with
Star Wars Episode VIII .
Ready Player One
Ready Player One still in its lengthy, effects-heavy
post-production, Spielberg is directing
Tom Hanks and
Meryl Streep in
The Papers , an account of
The Washington Post
The Washington Post 's uncovering of the
Pentagon Papers . Production began in New York on May 30, 2017. The
film will get a limited release on December 22, 2017, with a wide
release following on January 12, 2018.
Spielberg will follow that with a fifth installment in the Indiana
Jones series . The untitled film is set to star
Harrison Ford and will
be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall . It is being
David Koepp , who has written numerous other films for
Spielberg, including the last
Indiana Jones film. It was originally
set for release by
Disney on July 19, 2019, but will now come out on
July 10, 2020.
Spielberg had planned to film his long-planned adaptation of David
Kertzer 's acclaimed The Kidnapping of
Edgardo Mortara in 2017 for
release at the end of that year, but production has been postponed.
The book follows the true story of a young Jewish boy in 1858 Italy
who was secretly baptized by a family servant and then kidnapped from
his family by the Papal States, where he was raised and trained as a
priest, causing international outrage and becoming a media sensation.
First announced in 2014, the book has been adapted by Tony Kushner
and the film will again star
Mark Rylance , in his fourth consecutive
collaboration with Spielberg, in the role of
Pope Pius IX . Oscar
Isaac was set to star as Mortara, but eventually dropped out.
Spielberg plans to direct a film remake of the musical West Side
Tony Kushner stated in July 2017 that he is currently adapting
the classic show's book for Spielberg, though the musical score will
remain unchanged, as will the late-1950s setting.
Spielberg is attached to direct Cortes, a historical epic written by
Steven Zaillian about the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire, and
Cortes's relationship with Aztec ruler Montezuma . The script is
based on an earlier one from 1965 by Oscar-winner
Dalton Trumbo . The
project at one time had
Javier Bardem attached to play the lead role
Hernán Cortés .
Spielberg is attached to direct an adaptation of American
Lynsey Addario 's memoir It's What I Do. Jennifer
Lawrence is attached to star in the lead role.
Projects On Hold
Spielberg was scheduled to shoot a $200 million adaptation of Daniel
H. Wilson 's novel
Robopocalypse , adapted for the screen by Drew
Goddard . The film would follow a global human war against a robot
uprising about 15–20 years in the future. Like Lincoln , it was to
be released by
Disney in the United States and Fox overseas. It was
set for release on April 25, 2014, with
Anne Hathaway and Chris
Hemsworth set to star, but Spielberg postponed production
indefinitely in January 2013, just before it had been set to begin.
In 2009, Spielberg reportedly tried to obtain the screen rights to
make a film based on
Microsoft 's Halo series . In September 2008,
Steven Spielberg bought film rights for
John Wyndham 's novel Chocky
and is interested in directing it. He is also interested in making an
A Steady Rain ,
Pirate Latitudes ,
The 39 Clues , and
a remake of When Worlds Collide .
In May 2009,
Steven Spielberg bought the rights to the life story of
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Spielberg will be involved not only as
producer but also as a director. However, the purchase was made from
the King estate, led by son Dexter , while the two other surviving
children, the Reverend Bernice and Martin III , immediately threatened
to sue, not having given their approvals to the project.
Since the mid-1980s, Spielberg has increased his role as a film
producer. He headed up the production team for several cartoons,
Warner Bros. hits
Tiny Toon Adventures ,
Pinky and the Brain ,
Toonsylvania , and
Freakazoid! , for which he
Jean MacCurdy and
Tom Ruegger . Due to his work on
these series, in the official titles, most of them say, "Steven
Spielberg presents" as well as making numerous cameos on the shows.
Spielberg also produced the
Don Bluth animated features, An American
The Land Before Time , which were released by Universal
Studios . He also served as one of the executive producers of Who
Framed Roger Rabbit and its three related shorts (Tummy Trouble,
Roller Coaster Rabbit, Trail Mix-Up), which were all released by
Disney, under both the
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures and the Touchstone
Pictures banners. He was furthermore, for a short time, the executive
producer of the long-running medical drama ER . In 1989, he brought
the concept of
The Dig to
LucasArts . He contributed to the project
from that time until 1995 when the game was released. He also
collaborated with software publishers
Knowledge Adventure on the
multimedia game Steven Spielberg\'s Director\'s Chair , which was
released in 1996. Spielberg appears, as himself, in the game to direct
the player. The Spielberg name provided branding for a
kit, the proceeds of which went to the Starbright Foundation.
Spielberg speaking at the Pentagon on August 11, 1999 after receiving
the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service from
Secretary of Defense
William S. Cohen
In 1993, Spielberg acted as executive producer for the highly
anticipated television series seaQuest DSV ; a science fiction series
set "in the near future" starring
Roy Scheider (who Spielberg had
directed in Jaws) and
Jonathan Brandis that aired on
NBC . While the
first season was moderately successful, the second season did less
well. Spielberg's name no longer appeared in the third season and the
show was cancelled midway through it.
Spielberg served as an uncredited executive producer on The Haunting
The Prince of Egypt , Just Like Heaven ,
Shrek , Road to Perdition
, and Evolution . He served as an executive producer for the 1997
film Men in Black , and its sequels,
Men in Black II and Men in Black
III . In 2005, he served as a producer of Memoirs of a Geisha , an
adaptation of the novel by
Arthur Golden , a film to which he was
previously attached as director. In 2006, Spielberg co-executive
produced with famed filmmaker
Robert Zemeckis a CGI children's film
called Monster House , marking their eighth collaboration since 1990's
Back to the Future Part III . He also teamed with
Clint Eastwood for
the first time in their careers, co-producing Eastwood's Flags of Our
Letters from Iwo Jima with
Robert Lorenz and Eastwood
himself. He earned his twelfth
Academy Award nomination for the latter
film as it was nominated for Best Picture. Spielberg served as
executive producer for Disturbia and the
Transformers live action film
Brian Goldner , an employee of
Hasbro . The film was directed by
Michael Bay and written by
Roberto Orci and
Alex Kurtzman , and
Spielberg continued to collaborate on the sequels, Transformers:
Revenge of the Fallen , Transformers: Dark of the Moon , Transformers:
Age of Extinction , and Transformers: The Last
Knight . In 2011, he
J. J. Abrams science fiction thriller film Super 8 for
Paramount Pictures .
Other major television series Spielberg produced were Band of
Brothers , Taken and The Pacific . He was an executive producer on the
critically acclaimed 2005 TV miniseries Into the West which won two
Emmy awards, including one for
Geoff Zanelli 's score. For his 2010
miniseries The Pacific he teamed up once again with co-producer Tom
Gary Goetzman also co-producing'. The miniseries is
believed to have cost $250 million and is a 10-part war miniseries
centered on the battles in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
Bruce McKenna , who penned several installments of (Band of
Brothers ), was the head writer.
Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett co-produced
On the Lot a
short-lived TV reality show about filmmaking. Despite this, he never
gave up working on television. He currently serves as one of the
executive producers on
United States of Tara , a show created by
Academy Award winner
Diablo Cody which they developed together
(Spielberg is uncredited as creator).
In 2011, Spielberg launched
Falling Skies , a science fiction
television series, on the TNT network. He developed the series with
Robert Rodat and is credited as an executive producer. Spielberg is
also producing the Fox TV series Terra Nova . Terra Nova begins in the
year 2149 when all life on the planet Earth is threatened with
extinction resulting in scientists opening a door that allows people
to travel back 85 million years to prehistoric times. Spielberg also
produced The River , Smash , Under the Dome , Extant , , The
Whispers , a TV adaptation of Minority Report, , and Bull .
In 2008, Spielberg and
DreamWorks acquired the rights to produce a
live-action film adaptation of the original
Ghost in the Shell manga .
Avi Arad and
Steven Paul were later confirmed as producers, Rupert
Sanders directed, and
Scarlett Johansson stars in the lead role.
In March 2013, Spielberg announced that he was "developing a Stanley
Kubrick screenplay for a miniseries, not for a motion picture, about
the life of
Napoleon ." In May 2016 it was announced that Cary
Fukunaga is in talks to direct the miniseries for
HBO , from a script
by David Lenland based on extensive research materials accumulated by
Kubrick over many years.
Spielberg had cameo roles in The Blues Brothers ,
Gremlins , Vanilla
Sky , and
Austin Powers in Goldmember , as well as small uncredited
cameos in a handful of other films, such as a life-station worker in
Jaws. He also made numerous cameo roles in the
Warner Bros. cartoons
he produced, such as Animaniacs, and even made reference to some of
his films. Spielberg voiced himself in the film Paul , and in one
Tiny Toon Adventures titled Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian.
In 2017, Spielberg, along with fellow directors Francis Ford Coppola
Guillermo del Toro ,
Paul Greengrass and
Lawrence Kasdan were
featured in the
Netflix documentary series Five Came Back , which
discussed the contributions of film directors
Frank Capra , John Ford
John Huston ,
George Stevens and
William Wyler towards recording the
World War II
World War II . Spielberg also served as an executive
producer on the series.
INVOLVEMENT IN VIDEO GAMES
Apart from being an ardent gamer Spielberg has had a long history of
involvement in video games. He has been giving thanks to his games of
DreamWorks Interactive most notable as Someone's in the
Kitchen with script written by
Paul Rugg , Goosebumps:
Escape from HorrorLand ,
The Neverhood (all in 1996),
Dilbert\'s Desktop Games , Goosebumps: Attack of the Mutant (all
Boombots (1999), T\'ai Fu: Wrath of the Tiger (1999), and Clive
Barker\'s Undying (2001). In 2005 the director signed with Electronic
Arts to collaborate on three games including an action game and an
award-winning puzzle game for the
Boom Blox (and its 2009
Boom Blox Bash Party ). Previously, he was involved in
creating the scenario for the adventure game
The Dig . In 1996,
Spielberg worked on and shot original footage for a movie-making
simulation game called Steven Spielberg\'s Director\'s Chair . He is
the creator of the Medal of Honor series by
Electronic Arts . He is
credited in the special thanks section of the 1998 video game
Trespasser . In 2013, Spielberg has announced he is collaborating
343 Industries for a live-action TV show of Halo .
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Spielberg's films often deal with several recurring themes. Most of
his films deal with ordinary characters searching for or coming in
contact with extraordinary beings or finding themselves in
extraordinary circumstances. In an AFI interview in August 2000
Spielberg commented on his interest in the possibility of
extraterrestrial life and how it has influenced some of his films.
Spielberg described himself as feeling like an alien during childhood,
and his interest came from his father, a science fiction fan, and his
opinion that aliens would not travel light years for conquest, but
instead curiosity and sharing of knowledge.
A strong consistent theme in his family-friendly work is a childlike
sense of wonder and faith, as attested by works such as Close
Encounters of the Third Kind ,
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial , Hook ,
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
A.I. Artificial Intelligence and
The BFG . According to Warren
Buckland, these themes are portrayed through the use of low height
camera tracking shots, which have become one of Spielberg's directing
trademarks. In the cases when his films include children (E.T. the
Extra-Terrestrial, Empire of the Sun ,
Jurassic Park , etc.), this
type of shot is more apparent, but it is also used in films like
Saving Private Ryan ,
The Terminal , Minority Report , and
Amistad . If one views each of his films, one will see this shot
utilized by the director, notably the water scenes in Jaws are filmed
from the low-angle perspective of someone swimming. Another child
oriented theme in Spielberg's films is that of loss of innocence and
coming-of-age. In Empire of the Sun, Jim, a well-groomed and spoiled
English youth, loses his innocence as he suffers through World War II
China. Similarly, in
Catch Me If You Can , Frank naively and foolishly
believes that he can reclaim his shattered family if he accumulates
enough money to support them.
The most persistent theme throughout his films is tension in
parent-child relationships. Parents (often fathers) are reluctant,
absent or ignorant. Peter Banning in Hook starts off in the beginning
of the film as a reluctant married-to-his-work parent who through the
course of the film regains the respect of his children. The notable
absence of Elliott's father in E.T., is the most famous example of
this theme. In
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade , it is revealed
that Indy has always had a very strained relationship with his father,
who is a professor of medieval literature, as his father always seemed
more interested in his work, specifically in his studies of the Holy
Grail, than in his own son, although his father does not seem to
realize or understand the negative effect that his aloof nature had on
Indy (he even believes he was a good father in the sense that he
taught his son "self reliance," which is not how Indy saw it). Even
Oskar Schindler , from Schindler\'s List , is reluctant to have a
child with his wife.
Munich depicts Avner as a man away from his wife
and newborn daughter. There are of course exceptions; Brody in Jaws is
a committed family man, while John Anderton in Minority Report is a
shattered man after the disappearance of his son. This theme is
arguably the most autobiographical aspect of Spielberg's films, since
Spielberg himself was affected by his parents' divorce as a child and
by the absence of his father. Furthermore, to this theme, protagonists
in his films often come from families with divorced parents, most
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (protagonist Elliot's mother is
Catch Me If You Can (Frank Abagnale's mother and father
split early on in the film). Little known also is Tim in Jurassic Park
(early in the film, another secondary character mentions Tim and Lex's
parents' divorce). The family often shown divided is often resolved in
the ending as well. Following this theme of reluctant fathers and
father figures, Tim looks to Dr. Alan Grant as a father figure.
Initially, Dr. Grant is reluctant to return those paternal feelings to
Tim. However, by the end of the film, he has changed, and the kids
even fall asleep with their heads on his shoulders.
Most of his films are generally optimistic in nature. Though some
critics accuse his films of being a little overly sentimental,
Spielberg feels it is fine as long as it is disguised. He is still a
highly praised director as well as being credited as one of the most
influential directors of all time. The influence comes from directors
Frank Capra and
John Ford .
In terms of casting and production itself, Spielberg has a known
penchant for working with actors and production members from his
previous films. For instance, he has cast
Richard Dreyfuss in several
films: Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Always. Aside
from his role as Indiana Jones, Spielberg also cast
Harrison Ford as a
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (though the scene was
ultimately cut). Although Spielberg directed veteran voice actor Frank
Welker only once (in Raiders of the Lost Ark, for which he voiced many
of the animals), Welker has lent his voice in a number of productions
Spielberg has executive produced from
Gremlins to its sequel Gremlins
2: The New Batch , as well as
The Land Before Time , Who Framed Roger
Rabbit , and television shows such as Tiny Toons ,
Animaniacs , and
SeaQuest DSV. Spielberg has used
Tom Hanks on several occasions and
has cast him in
Saving Private Ryan ,
Catch Me If You Can , The
Terminal , Bridge of Spies and the upcoming
The Papers . Spielberg has
Tom Cruise twice on Minority Report and War of the
Worlds , and cast
Shia LaBeouf in five films:
Transformers , Eagle Eye
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull , Transformers:
Revenge of the Fallen , and Transformers: Dark of the Moon . Spielberg
Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies and The BFG, as well as the
upcoming Kidnapping of
Edgardo Mortara and Ready Player One.
Spielberg prefers working with production members with whom he has
developed an existing working relationship. An example of this is his
production relationship with Kathleen Kennedy who has served as
producer on all his major films from
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial to the
recent Lincoln . For cinematography,
Allen Daviau , a childhood friend
and cinematographer, shot the early Spielberg film Amblin and most of
his films up to Empire of the Sun ;
Janusz Kamiński who has shot
every Spielberg film since
Schindler's List (see List of film director
and cinematographer collaborations ); and the film editor Michael Kahn
who has edited every film directed by Spielberg from Close Encounters
Munich (except E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). Most of the DVDs of
Spielberg's films have documentaries by
Laurent Bouzereau .
A famous example of Spielberg working with the same professionals is
his long-time collaboration with
John Williams and the use of his
musical scores in all of his films since
The Sugarland Express (except
for Bridge of Spies ,
Ready Player One
Ready Player One ,
The Color Purple , and
Twilight Zone: The Movie ). One of Spielberg's trademarks is his use
of music by Williams to add to the visual impact of his scenes and to
try and create a lasting picture and sound of the film in the memories
of the film audience. These visual scenes often uses images of the sun
(e.g. Empire of the Sun, Saving Private Ryan, the final scene of both
Jurassic Park and War Horse , and the end credits of
Indiana Jones and
the Last Crusade (where they ride into the sunset)), of which the last
three feature a Williams score at that end scene. Spielberg is a
contemporary of filmmakers
George Lucas ,
Francis Ford Coppola ,
Martin Scorsese ,
John Milius , and
Brian De Palma , collectively
known as the "
Movie Brats ". Aside from his principal role as a
director, Spielberg has acted as a producer for a considerable number
of films, including early hits for
Joe Dante and
Robert Zemeckis .
Spielberg has often never worked with the same screenwriter in his
Tony Kushner and
David Koepp , who have written a few of
his films more than once.
MARRIAGES AND CHILDREN
Spielberg first met actress
Amy Irving in 1976 at the suggestion of
Brian De Palma , who knew he was looking for an actress to
play in Close Encounters. After meeting her, Spielberg told his
Julia Phillips , "I met a real heartbreaker last night."
:293 Although she was too young for the role, she and Spielberg began
dating and she eventually moved into what she described as his
"bachelor funky" house. :294 They lived together for four years, but
the stresses of their professional careers took a toll on their
relationship. Irving wanted to be certain that whatever success she
attained as an actress would be her own: "I don't want to be known as
Steven's girlfriend," she said, and chose not to be in any of his
films during those years. :295
As a result, they broke up in 1979, but remained close friends. Then
in 1984 they renewed their romance, and in November 1985, they
married, already having had a son, Max Samuel. After three and a half
years of marriage, however, many of the same competing stresses of
their careers caused them to divorce in 1989. They agreed to maintain
homes near each other as to facilitate the shared custody and
parenting of their son. :403 Their divorce was recorded as the third
most costly celebrity divorce in history.
Spielberg subsequently developed a relationship with actress Kate
Capshaw , whom he met when he cast her in
Indiana Jones and the Temple
of Doom . They married on October 12, 1991. Capshaw is a convert to
Judaism. They currently move among their four homes in Pacific
California ; New York City; Quelle Farm,
Georgica Pond in
East Hampton , New York, on
Long Island ; and
Naples, Florida .
There are seven children in the Spielberg-Capshaw family:
Jessica Capshaw (born August 9, 1976) – daughter from Kate
Capshaw's previous marriage to Robert Capshaw
* Max Samuel Spielberg (born June 13, 1985) – son from Spielberg's
previous marriage to actress
* Theo Spielberg (born August 21, 1988) – son adopted by Capshaw
before her marriage to Spielberg, who later also adopted him
* Sasha Rebecca Spielberg (born May 14, 1990, Los Angeles)
* Sawyer Avery Spielberg (born March 10, 1992, Los Angeles)
* Mikaela George (born February 28, 1996) – adopted with Kate
* Destry Allyn Spielberg (born December 1, 1996)
Spielberg grew up in a Jewish household, including having a bar
mitzvah ceremony in Phoenix when he turned 13. He grew away from
Judaism after his family moved to various cities during his high
school years, where they became the only Jews in the neighborhood. :29
Before those years, his family was involved in the synagogue and had
many Jewish friends and nearby relatives.
He remembers his grandparents telling him about their life in Russia,
where they were subjected to religious persecution, causing them to
eventually flee to the United States. He was made aware of the
Holocaust by his parents, who he says “talked about it all the time,
and so it was always on my mind.” :30 His father had lost between
sixteen and twenty relatives during the Holocaust. :21
Spielberg "rediscovered the honor of being a Jew," he says, before he
made Schindler's List, when he married Kate Capshaw. :25 Until then,
having become a filmmaker, he only felt his connection to Judaism when
he visited his parents. He says he made the film partly to create
“something that would confirm my Judaism to my family and myself.”
Kate is Protestant and she insisted on converting to Judaism. She
spent a year studying, did the “mikveh ,” the whole thing. She
chose to do a full conversion before we were married in 1991, and she
married me after becoming a Jew. I think that, more than anything
else, brought me back to Judaism. :25
He credits her with fueling his family's current level of observance
and for keeping the “momentum flowing" in their lives, as they now
observe Jewish holidays, light candles on Friday nights, and give
their children Bar and Bat Mitzvahs . :26 "This shiksa goddess has
made me a better Jew than my own parents." :27
Schindler's List in 1993 also renewed his faith, Spielberg
says, but "it really was the fact that my wife took a profound
interest in Judaism." :25 He waited ten years after being given the
story in 1982 to make the film, as he did not yet feel "mature"
enough. :32 He first wanted to have a family, "to figure out what my
place was in the world. . . . When my first son, was born, it greatly
affected me. . . . A spirit began to ignite in me, and I became a
Jewish dad. . ." :21
He said that making the film became a “natural experience” for
him, adding, "I had to tell the story. I've lived on its outer edges."
The film, writes biographer Joseph McBride , thereby became the
"culmination" of Spielberg's long personal struggle with his Jewish
identity. :18 Some claim the film has made Spielberg "the one true
heir to the great Jewish moguls who created Hollywood," most of whom
had actively avoided depicting Jews or the Holocaust in their films.
Forbes magazine places Spielberg's personal net worth at $3.7
In 2013, Spielberg purchased the 282-foot (70.7 m) mega-yacht Seven
Seas for US$182 million. He has since put it up for sale and in the
meantime has made it available for charter. At US$1.2 million per
month, it is one of the most expensive charters on the market. He has
ordered a new 300-foot (90 m) yacht costing a reported US$250 million.
In 2002, Spielberg was one of eight flagbearers who carried the
Olympic Flag into
Rice-Eccles Stadium at the Opening Ceremonies of the
2002 Winter Olympic Games
2002 Winter Olympic Games in
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City . In 2006, Premiere listed
him as the most powerful and influential figure in the motion picture
industry . Time listed him as one of the 100 Most Important People of
the Century . At the end of the 20th century, Life named him the most
influential person of his generation. In 2009, Boston University
presented him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
According to Forbes' Most Influential Celebrities 2014 list,
Spielberg was listed as the most influential celebrity in America. The
annual list is conducted by E-Poll Market Research and it gave more
than 6,600 celebrities on 46 different personality attributes a score
representing "how that person is perceived as influencing the public,
their peers, or both." Spielberg received a score of 47, meaning 47%
of the US believes he is influential. Gerry Philpott, president of
E-Poll Market Research, supported Spielberg's score by stating, "If
anyone doubts that
Steven Spielberg has greatly influenced the public,
think about how many will think for a second before going into the
water this summer."
Spielberg usually supports U.S. Democratic Party candidates. He has
donated over $800,000 to the Democratic party and its nominees. He has
been a close friend of former President
Bill Clinton and worked with
the President for the USA Millennium celebrations. He directed an
18-minute film for the project, scored by
John Williams and entitled
The American Journey. It was shown at America's Millennium Gala on
December 31, 1999, in the
National Mall at the
Reflecting Pool at the
base of the
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Secretary of
William S. Cohen escorts Spielberg through a military honor
cordon into the Pentagon.
Spielberg resigned as a member of the national advisory board of the
Boy Scouts of America in 2001 because of his disapproval of the
organization's anti-homosexuality stance . In 2007 the Arab League
voted to boycott Spielberg's movies after he donated $1 million for
relief efforts in Israel during the
2006 Lebanon War
2006 Lebanon War . On February
20, 2007, Spielberg,
Jeffrey Katzenberg , and
David Geffen invited
Democrats to a fundraiser for
Barack Obama . In February 2008,
Spielberg pulled out of his role as advisor to the 2008 Summer
Olympics in response to the Chinese government's inaction over the War
in Darfur . Spielberg said in a statement that "I find that my
conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual." It also
said that "Sudan's government bears the bulk of the responsibility for
these on-going crimes, but the international community, and
particularly China, should be doing more.." The International Olympic
Committee respected Spielberg's decision, but IOC president Jacques
Rogge admitted in an interview that " certainly would have brought a
lot to the opening ceremony in terms of creativity." Spielberg's
statement drew criticism from Chinese officials and state-run media
calling his criticism "unfair". In September 2008, Spielberg and his
wife offered their support to same-sex marriage , by issuing a
statement following their donation of $100,000 to the "No on
Proposition 8 " campaign fund, a figure equal to the amount of money
Brad Pitt donated to the same campaign less than a week prior.
Hillary Clinton for President of the United
States in the 2016 election . He donated US$1 million to Priorities
USA , a pro-Clinton Super PAC.
A collector of film memorabilia, Spielberg purchased a balsa Rosebud
Citizen Kane (1941) in 1982. He bought
Orson Welles 's own
directorial copy of the script for the radio broadcast The War of the
Worlds (1938) in 1994. Spielberg has purchased Academy Award
statuettes being sold on the open market and donated them to the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , to prevent their further
commercial exploitation. His donations include the Oscars that Bette
Davis received for Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938), and Clark
Gable 's Oscar for
It Happened One Night
It Happened One Night (1934).
Spielberg is a major collector of the work of American illustrator
Norman Rockwell . A collection of 57 Rockwell paintings
and drawings owned by Spielberg and fellow Rockwell collector and film
George Lucas were displayed at the Smithsonian American Art
Museum July 2, 2010 – January 2, 2011, in an exhibition titled
Spielberg is an avid film buff, and, when not shooting a picture, he
will watch many films in a single weekend. He sees almost every major
summer blockbuster in theaters if not preoccupied and enjoys most of
Pong while filming Jaws in 1974, Spielberg has been an
avid video gamer . Spielberg played many of
LucasArts adventure games
, including the first Monkey Island games. He owns a
Wii , a
PlayStation 3 , a PSP and
Xbox 360 , and enjoys playing first-person
shooters such as the Medal of Honor series and Call of Duty 4: Modern
Warfare . He has also criticized the use of cutscenes in games,
calling them intrusive, and feels making story flow naturally into the
gameplay is a challenge for future game developers.
In 2001, Spielberg was stalked by conspiracy theorist and former
Diana Napolis . She accused him, along with actress
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt , of controlling her thoughts through
"cybertronic" technology and being part of a satanic conspiracy
against her. Napolis was committed to a mental institution before
pleading guilty to stalking, and released on probation with a
condition that she have no contact with either Spielberg or Hewitt.
Jonathan Norman was arrested after making two attempts to enter
Spielberg's Pacific Palisades home in June and July 1997. Norman was
jailed for 25 years in California. Spielberg told the court: "Had
Jonathan Norman actually confronted me, I genuinely, in my heart of
hearts, believe that I would have been raped or maimed or killed."
AWARDS AND HONORS
See also: List of awards and nominations received by Steven Spielberg
Spielberg receiving a public service award presented by United
States Secretary of Defense
William Cohen , 1999 Steven
Spielberg's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Footprints and
Steven Spielberg in front of the Grauman\'s Chinese
Theatre Former President Clinton with Spielberg as he accepts
the 2009 Liberty Award in
Spielberg has won three Academy Awards. He has been nominated for
Academy Awards for the category of Best Director , winning two
of them (Schindler\'s List and
Saving Private Ryan ), and ten of the
films he directed were up for the Best Picture Oscar (Schindler's List
won). In 1987, he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
for his work as a creative producer.
Drawing from his own experiences in
Scouting , Spielberg helped the
Boy Scouts of America develop a merit badge in cinematography in order
to help promote filmmaking as a marketable skill. The badge was
launched at the 1989 National Scout Jamboree , which Spielberg
attended, and where he personally counseled many boys in their work on
requirements. That same year, 1989, saw the release of Indiana Jones
and the Last Crusade. The opening scene shows a teenage Indiana Jones
in scout uniform bearing the rank of a
Life Scout . Spielberg stated
Indiana Jones a Boy Scout in honor of his experience in
Scouting. For his career accomplishments, service to others, and
dedication to a new merit badge Spielberg was awarded the
Distinguished Eagle Scout Award .
Steven Spielberg received the
AFI Life Achievement Award in 1995.
In 1998, he was awarded the
Federal Cross of Merit with Ribbon of the
Federal Republic of Germany. The Award was presented to him by
Roman Herzog in recognition of his film
Schindler's List and
In 1999, Spielberg received an honorary degree from Brown University
. Spielberg was also awarded the Department of Defense Medal for
Distinguished Public Service by Secretary of Defense
William Cohen at
the Pentagon on August 11, 1999; Cohen presented the award in
recognition of Spielberg's film Saving Private Ryan.
In 2001, he was appointed as an honorary
Knight Commander of the
Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen
Elizabeth II for services
to the services to the entertainment industry of the
United Kingdom .
In 2004, he was admitted as knight of the Légion d\'honneur by
Jacques Chirac . On July 15, 2006, Spielberg was also
awarded the Gold Hugo
Lifetime Achievement Award at the Summer Gala of
Chicago International Film Festival
Chicago International Film Festival , and also was awarded a
Kennedy Center honour on December 3. The tribute to Spielberg featured
a short, filmed biography narrated by
Tom Hanks and included
World War II
World War II veterans for Saving Private Ryan, as well
as a performance of the finale to
Leonard Bernstein 's Candide,
John Williams (Spielberg's frequent composer).
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Spielberg in 2005, the
first year it considered non-literary contributors. In November
2007, he was chosen for a
Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented
at the sixth annual
Visual Effects Society Awards in February 2009. He
was set to be honored with the
Cecil B. DeMille Award
Cecil B. DeMille Award at the January
Golden Globes ; however, due to the new, watered-down format of
the ceremony resulting from conflicts in the 2007–08 writers strike
, the HFPA postponed his honor to the 2009 ceremony. In 2008,
Spielberg was awarded the Légion d\'honneur .
In June 2008, Spielberg received
Arizona State University 's Hugh
Downs Award for Communication Excellence.
Spielberg received an honorary degree at
Boston University 's 136th
Annual Commencement on May 17, 2009. In October 2009 Steven Spielberg
Philadelphia Liberty Medal ; presenting him with the
medal was former US president and Liberty Medal recipient Bill
Special guests included
Whoopi Goldberg , Pennsylvania
Ed Rendell and
Michael Nutter .
On October 22, 2011 he was admitted as a Commander of the Belgian
Order of the Crown . He was given the badge on a red neck ribbon by
the Belgian Federal Minister of Finance
Didier Reynders . The
Commander is the third highest rank of the Order of the Crown. He was
the president of the jury for the 2013
Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival .
On November 19, 2013, Spielberg was honored by the National Archives
and Records Administration with its Records of Achievement Award.
Spielberg was given two facsimiles of the 13th Amendment to the United
States Constitution , one passed but not ratified in 1861, as well as
a facsimile of the actual 1865 amendment signed into law by President
Abraham Lincoln . The amendment and the process of passing it were the
subject of his film Lincoln .
In November 24, 2015, Spielberg was awarded the Presidential Medal of
Freedom from President
Barack Obama in a ceremony at the
White House .
On May 26, 2016, Spielberg was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts by
Harvard University .
In July 2016, Spielberg was awarded a gold
Blue Peter badge on the
BBC children's television programme
Blue Peter .
Steven Spielberg filmography
PRAISE AND CRITICISM
* In 2005,
Steven Spielberg was rated the greatest film director of
all time by Empire magazine . In 1997, a
Wall Street sell-side
analyst said, "There are only two brand names in the business: Disney
* After watching the unconventional, off-center camera techniques of
Alfred Hitchcock praised "young Spielberg," for thinking
outside of the visual dynamics of the theater, saying "He's the first
one of us who doesn't see the proscenium arch ".
* Some of Spielberg's most notable admirers include
Robert Aldrich ,
Ingmar Bergman ,
Werner Herzog ,
Stanley Kubrick ,
David Lean ,
Sidney Lumet ,
Roman Polanski ,
Martin Scorsese , François
David Lynch and
Zhang Yimou .
* Spielberg's movies have also influenced many directors that
followed, including Adam Green ,
J. J. Abrams , Paul Thomas Anderson
Neill Blomkamp ,
James Cameron ,
Guillermo del Toro , Roland
David Fincher ,
Peter Jackson , Kal Ng, Robert Rodriguez
John Sayles ,
Ridley Scott ,
John Singleton ,
Kevin Smith ,
Steven Soderbergh ,
Quentin Tarantino , and Gareth Edwards . In
Jeffrey Katzenberg said of Spielberg: "You can take James
Cameron, Chris Nolan or
Martin Scorsese - all brilliant and in many
ways his peers, but look at quality and consistency, and no one
* British film critic
Tom Shone has said of Spielberg, "If you have
to point to any one director of the last twenty-five years in whose
work the medium of film was most fully itself – where we found out
what it does best when left to its own devices, it has to be that
guy." Jess Cagle, the managing editor of
Entertainment Weekly ,
called Spielberg "...arguably (well, who would argue?) the greatest
filmmaker in history."
* Spielberg's critics complain that his films are overly sentimental
and tritely moralistic. In his book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How
the Sex \'n\' Drugs \'n\' Rock \'n\' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood ,
Peter Biskind summarized the views of Spielberg's detractors, accusing
the director of "infantilizing the audience, reconstituting the
spectator as child, then overwhelming him and her with sound and
spectacle, obliterating irony, aesthetic self-consciousness, and
* Critics of mainstream film such as
Ray Carney and American artist
Crispin Glover (who starred in the Spielberg-produced Back
to the Future and who sued Spielberg for using his likeness in Back to
the Future Part II ) claim that Spielberg's films lack depth and do
not take risks.
French New Wave filmmaker
Jean-Luc Godard stated that he holds
Spielberg partly responsible for the lack of artistic merit in
mainstream cinema and accused Spielberg of using his film Schindler\'s
List to make a profit off tragedy while Schindler's wife, Emilie
Schindler , lived in poverty in Argentina. In defense of Spielberg,
Roger Ebert said "Has Godard or any other director living or
dead done more than Spielberg, with his Holocaust Project, to honor
and preserve the memories of the survivors?" Author Thomas Keneally
has also disputed claims that
Emilie Schindler was never paid for her
contributions to the film, "not least because I had recently sent
Emilie a check myself."
* Film critic
Pauline Kael , who had championed Spielberg's films in
the 1970s, expressed disappointment in his later development, stating
that "he's become, I think, a very bad director.... And I'm a little
ashamed for him, because I loved his early work.... e turned to
virtuous movies. And he's become so uninteresting now.... I think that
he had it in him to become more of a fluid, far-out director. But,
instead, he's become a melodramatist."
Imre Kertész , Hungarian Jewish author, Nazi concentration camp
survivor, and winner of the
Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature , criticized
Spielberg's depiction of the Holocaust in
Schindler's List as kitsch ,
saying "I regard as kitsch any representation of the Holocaust that is
incapable of understanding or unwilling to understand the organic
connection between our own deformed mode of life and the very
possibility of the Holocaust." Veteran documentary filmmaker and
Claude Lanzmann also labeled
Schindler's List "pernicious in
its impact and influence" and "very sentimental".
* Stephen Rowley wrote an extensive essay about Spielberg and his
Senses of Cinema . In it, he discussed Spielberg's strengths
as a filmmaker, saying "there is a welcome complexity of tone and
approach in these later films that defies the lazy stereotypes often
bandied about his films" and that "Spielberg continues to take risks,
with his body of work continuing to grow more impressive and
ambitious", concluding that he has only received "limited, begrudging
recognition" from critics.
Shia LaBeouf , who worked with Spielberg on a number of films
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and
DreamWorks productions (notably the
Transformers film series
), described his experiences working with the director in a
wide-ranging interview with Variety in 2016. He stated, "I grew up
with this idea, if you got to Spielberg, that’s where it is –
I’m not talking about fame, and I’m not talking about money. You
get there, and you realize you’re not meeting the Spielberg you
dream of. You’re meeting a different Spielberg, who is in a
different stage in his career. He’s less a director than he is a
fucking company." He went on to discuss his on-set actor/director
relationship with Spielberg, as well as the films they made together,
"Spielberg’s sets are very different – everything has been so
meticulously planned. You got to get this line out in 37 seconds. You
do that for five years, you start to feel like not knowing what
you’re doing for a living." He concluded his point by stating: "I
don’t like the movies that I made with Spielberg. The only movie
that I liked that we made together was
Transformers ." Later in the
interview, LaBeouf recited and criticised the advice given to him by
Spielberg following the mixed reaction to both Kingdom of the Crystal
Skull, and LaBeouf's performance in the film. He claims Spielberg told
him not to read about himself in the media, but LaBeouf felt irritated
by what he perceived to be non-advice and a lack of understanding,
saying "There’s no way to not do that. For me to not read that means
I need to not take part in society. The generation previous to mine
didn’t have the immediate response . If you were Mark Hamill , you
could lie to yourself. You could find the pockets of joy, and turn a
blind eye to the shit over there."
* In 1999, Spielberg, then a co-owner of
DreamWorks , was involved
in a heated debate in which the studio proposed building on wetlands
near Los Angeles, though development was later dropped for economic
* In August 2007,
Ai Weiwei , artistic consultant for the Beijing
Olympic Stadium , known as the "Bird's Nest", accused those
choreographing the Olympic opening ceremony, including Spielberg, of
failing to live up to their responsibility as artists by allowing
their work to be used by the Chinese government, which has suppressed
human rights in China, including those of Ai's family, for the purpose
of "propaganda". Ai said, "It's disgusting. I don't like anyone who
shamelessly abuses their profession, who makes no moral judgment."
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