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Steven Spielberg to Produce John Williams Documentary Film

The two have worked together on 29 films, from 1974's "The Sugarland Express" to 2022's "The Fabelmans."

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 09:  Director Stephen Spielberg (L) and Honoree John Williams (R) onstage during American Film Institute’s 44th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute show to John Williams at Dolby Theatre on June 9, 2016 in Hollywood, California. 26148_001  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Turner)

Steven Spielberg and John Williams

Getty Images for Turner

After decades of acclaimed scores and 52 Oscar nominations, composer John Williams is getting the career retrospective he deserves. A documentary about the film legend’s career is in the works, with frequent collaborator Steven Spielberg among the producers.

As initially reported by The Hollywood Reporter, a documentary on Williams’ life is in the early stages of development from Amblin Television, Imagine Documentaries, and Nedland Media. Laurent Bouzereau, who has directed several behind-the-scenes featurettes for Spielberg’s films, is attached to helm the feature. In addition to Spielberg, executive producers for the project include Brian Glazer, Ron Howard, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Justin Wilkes, Sara Bernstein, and Meredith Kaulfers.

Spielberg and Williams first collaborated on 1974’s “The Sugarland Express,” and Williams has since composed the music to all but five of the director’s movies; their latest collaboration is last year’s “The Fabelmans,” which is expected to be a major contender at the Academy Awards when nominations are announced Tuesday. Many of Williams’ most recognizable scores come from Spielberg projects, including “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Jurassic Park,” and “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.”

Williams, now 90, originally intended to retire after composing the score for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” which is directed by James Mangold and will hit theaters this June. In a public appearance earlier this month, however, Williams announced he would no longer retire after the upcoming Disney film, stating that he intended to keep working with his longtime collaborator.

“Steven is a lot of things,” Williams said at the event. “He’s a director, he’s a producer, he’s a studio head, he’s a writer, he’s a philanthropist, he’s an educator. One thing he isn’t is a man you can say ‘no’ to.”

“We always said we’d retire at the same time. So if he’s not, I guess I’m not either,” Spielberg said during the event. “So now I’ve got to find out what the hell I’m doing next.”

In addition to his work with Spielberg, Williams is also known as a music director and composer on films such as the entire “Star Wars” series, the first three “Harry Potter” films, “Home Alone,” and “Born on the Fourth of July.” The most-nominated living person in Oscars history (and second overall after Walt Disney), he has received five Oscar wins over his career, for “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Jaws,” the original “Star Wars,” “E.T.,” and “Schindler’s List.” In 2016, he received the 44th Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, becoming the first composer to receive the honor.

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