Producer Also Says Remake of ‘The NeverEnding Story’ & The Milli Vanilli Biopic Are In Limbo
Besides “Lincoln” and “The Adventures of Tintin” sequels, what else are director Steven Spielberg and producer Kathleen Kennedy cooking for their follow-ups? And what else is Kennedy working on outside of her projects with Spielberg? We quizzed Kennedy for a rapid fire round-up of everything that’s on the table and what’s being pushed aside at the moment.
“We’re not writing ‘Indiana Jones’ right now, and we don’t have a writer on ‘Jurassic’ yet,” she said. “We’re talking about those, but we don’t have writers on those. These projects, we’ve been talking about them for years and years and years, and something that stands the test of time, that speaks to you, you go, ‘Okay. If we keep coming back to this, there must be something there that’s worth making.’ ”
What they are planning to turn their attention to next — once “Lincoln” is wrapped — is “Roboapocalypse.” (“We just call it ‘Robo,’ ” Kennedy laughed. “It’s easier.”) Based on a book by Daniel Wilson about a robot rebellion against humans, the script is being written by Drew Goddard (“Cloverfield“), who is expected to deliver a first draft this month.
“Steven was very taken with the story,” Kennedy said. “I think there are elements that are similar to ‘A.I.,’ ‘Minority Report,’ things he’s done in the past, and he just views it as the next extension of those kinds of stories.”
Once Spielberg and Kennedy get the script, then they’re planning to decide how best to tell the story. “We have to wait until the first of the year to sit down and say, ‘Okay, how are we doing this?’ And then we’ll get really immersed in it.”
Spielberg and Kennedy are not planning on getting immersed in the proposed “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” sequel with director Robert Zemeckis anytime soon. “We’ve attempted a script, but it’s not really moving forward right now,” she said. “That’s not to say it won’t in the future, but there’s no spotlight on it now.”
In addition to Ben Affleck‘s take on “Tell No One,” Kennedy has tried to get a few other projects off the ground with other directors besides Spielberg, but the most anticipated of those, a Milli Vanilli story and a remake of “The NeverEnding Story,” are both in limbo.
“It’s a really wonderful script,” she said of the Milli Vanilli project. “It’s kind of a strange and quirky script, for a strange and quirky story. But it hasn’t really kicked into gear yet. Who knows? Maybe someday. It’s in the maybe pile.”
As for “The NeverEnding Story” reboot, she doesn’t think it’ll happen after all.
“Nothing’s ever been able to be resolved with the rights, unfortunately,” she said. “It’s very, very complicated with Warner Bros., and other books that have been written with similar characters,” such as the “Inkheart” series. “It’s too bad, because there’s an opportunity with that book because it’s so beautifully written, but I guess it’s not meant to be.”
“Everybody always asks us how we choose the movies we have going right now,” she added, “and it’s hard to explain sometimes. There’s a randomness to the way things kind of happen and get done. And sometimes you have this perfect storm, and you have to accept that and do the best you can. You decide when it’s something you’re passionate about and it’s working. Not every script that rolls in is ready to shoot. Few are, actually. So you go back and work on the thing. Or something goes away. There’s been a lot of things we were really interested in and excited about several years ago, and they never quite come together.”