Nearly two years ago, Steven Spielberg was putting together the pieces for his next film, Robopocalypse. The adaptation of the Daniel H. Wilson sci-fi novel of the same name was to return the director to a large-scale tentpole-type picture, telling the story of a future where an artificial intelligence comes online and threatens a, well, robot apocalypse. Chris Hemsworth was set as the lead, Anne Hathaway and Ben Whishaw were poised to co-star, Drew Goddard was writing the screenplay, and filming was set to begin in Spring 2013 until suddenly it all came to a halt. Spielberg decided to postpone the film indefinitely after coming up with “a better way to tell the story” that would necessitate heavy reworking of the screenplay.
The filmmaker went on to flirt with American Sniper before committing to shooting two new films back-to-back (he’s filming the first one right now), so whatever happened to Robopocalypse? Wilson recently offered a bit of an update on the project, saying it remains “in the queue”. More after the jump.
“It’s basically in the queue as far as I know. You know, Spielberg has other movies that he’s directing right now. But Robopocalypse has certainly been worked on. I’m sure that Dreamworks is still very excited about it. That’s what all indications are. It’s just about being patient, you know? I think one of the films on Spielberg’s slate is The BFG, and that’s been floating around for about ten years! I don’t really know what a timeline is, but that’s certainly normal. So I’m just being patient and working on all my projects. It would be some wonderful bonus points if that ever comes together”
Indeed, Spielberg does tend to take his time when developing projects, and Lincoln had been percolating for a long while before it finally came to fruition. It’s entirely possible that the director could circle back around to Robopocalypse sometime in the near future, or it still may be a ways off. But that’s the nature of the movie business; sometimes directors prep projects for years, only to see them never happen for one reason or another, and other times everything comes together incredibly quickly. That’s why filmmakers develop multiple projects at a time; they never know what’s going to “go” first. Spielberg is currently directing an untitled Cold War thriller starring Tom Hanks and will then move on to shooting his adaptation of the Roald Dahl childrens story The BFG next spring, so he’s tied up for the next couple of years.
As someone who was really looking forward to seeing Spielberg do a big robot blockbuster it’s certainly disappointing to see the film on the backburner, but hopefully he circles back around to it at some point.