After a rough half-decade or so (“Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” “The Adventures of Tintin,” “War Horse,” failing to get “Harvey” made), Steven Spielberg is back to enjoying the kind of success he’s used to; “Lincoln” is closing on $150 million domestically alone, and is likely to be the most nominated film when the Oscar nods are announced first thing tomorrow.
But things aren’t all rosy in Spielberg-land, because The Hollywood Reporter are, well, reporting that “Robopocalypse,” the long-gestating sci-fi blockbuster that the filmmaker was set to start filming in a few months for release in April 2014, has been postponed indefinitely. Penned by “Cabin in the Woods” writer Drew Goddard, it’s based on the novel by Daniel H. Wilson about a machine uprising caused by an artificial A.I out to wipe out humanity, and had a pretty impressive cast already lined up, with Chris Hemsworth, Anne Hathaway and Ben Whishaw all signed on.
But word is from Spielberg’s spokesman Marvin Levy that the film was “too important and the script is not ready, and it’s too expensive to produce. It’s back to the drawing board to see what is possible.” Reading between the lines, it’s probably another victim of the kind of nervousness that saw films like “Akira,” “Paradise Lost” and “Arthur and Lancelot” cut down in pre-production. Whether “Robopocalypse” becomes as D.O.A as those, or whether it pulls a “Lone Ranger” and manages to get the budget down enough to the point where the studio are happy to pull the trigger remains to be seen.
In the meantime, that means there’s some hot talent with windows in their schedules that weren’t there before, and we’re sure people will be queueing up to pick up Hemsworth (who, with “The Avengers 2” set for release in 2015, may not be able to be a part of the project if it does remount down the line) and Hathaway. And as for Spielberg, there was talk of him shooting Moses movie “Gods and Kings” in the spring of this year before “Robopocalypse” got pushed back the first time, so it’s possible he’ll step across to that. Or he could end up with something entirely different. Or maybe he’ll even be persuaded to give “Star Wars Episode VII” a second look…