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Steven Spielberg Says ‘Lincoln’ Was Almost An HBO Project, Warns Of Film Industry “Implosion”

Steven Spielberg Says 'Lincoln' Was Almost An HBO Project, Warns Of Film Industry "Implosion"

It’s becoming pretty obvious what the trend of 2013 is, at least in the film world. That trend would be filmmakers sharing their opinions on the current state of cinema and their predictions for what the future of cinema could entail. This time around, it’s George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. They recently visited the USC School of Cinematic Arts to help tout the opening of their new Interactive Media Building. While there, they spoke of the current state of cinema, with Spielberg predicting that a sea of change in the film industry is simply inevitable… we’re sure the film students in the audience were just thrilled to hear that. Sorry kids.

Spielberg elaborates further. “There’s eventually going to be an implosion — or a big meltdown. There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm.” He then predicts that blockbuster and franchise movies will command premiere ticket prices (get ready to pay $25 for stuff like “Man Of Steel“), while smaller scale dramas will become rarer and rarer. “I think eventually the ‘Lincoln‘s will go away and they’re going to be on television,” George Lucas chimed in. “As mine almost was,” Spielberg interjected. “This close — ask HBO — this close.”

Lucas also added that he thinks film exhibition could soon wind up having a Broadway play model, with fewer films released and staying in theaters for longer periods of time, and ticket prices becoming much higher. He also talked of the difficulty these days for filmmakers to get their films into theaters. “We’re talking ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Red Tails‘ — we barely got them into theaters. You’re talking about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can’t get their movie into a theater,” Lucas said. “The pathway to get into theaters is really getting smaller and smaller.”

Lucas also echoed the sentiments of other filmmakers, claiming that cable television is “much more adventurous” than film nowadays. While all these thoughts and concerns certainly hold water, it’s got to be a bummer for a film student to hear two of the most financially successful filmmakers of all time speak so bleakly about the direction cinema is going into. Perhaps it’s time to turn that script you’ve been working on into a mini-series or a TV show. [THR]

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