It’s been nearly two years since the release of Lincoln, but Steven Spielberg has already firmed up his next two projects, which will essentially shoot back-to-back. We previously reported that Spielberg had signed on to helm an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book The BFG with production poised to begin in early 2015, but it was noted that the filmmaker was looking to possibly shoot a smaller-scale film first. That project firmed up as an untitled Cold War thriller that will see Tom Hanks playing an American attorney who slips under the Iron Curtain in order to negotiate the release of a captured U-2 spy plane pilot.
With these two DreamWorks projects set as Spielberg’s next films, release dates have now been firmed up. The untitled spy thriller will open in theaters on October 16, 2015, while The BFG is slated for release on July 1, 2016. Hit the jump for more on both films and what competition they’ll face at the box office.
Spielberg’s next film, the Cold War thriller, is already coming together quite nicely. Joel and Ethan Coen penned the most recent draft of the screenplay, Marc Platt (Drive) is producing, and stage actor Mark Rylance just joined the cast. The official logline is as follows:
The true story of James Donovan, an attorney who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot.
The October 16, 2015 date is a prime launching pad for awards fare, no doubt putting Spielberg, Hanks, etc. in the 2016 Oscar race. At the box office, the pic will be squaring off directly with Guillermo del Toro’s first “adult” film in the English language, a gothic horror romance drama called Crimson Peak that stars Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam, and Mia Wasikowska.
As for The BFG, the Dahl book tells the story of a nice giant who befriends a young orphaned girl, and Spielberg reunites with E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison on the project with Frank Marshall producing. It will see Spielberg heading back into family film territory for the first time since 2011’s animated feature The Adventures of Tintin. The official logline is as follows:
A young girl, the Queen of England and a benevolent giant known as the BFG, set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world.
The pre-Independence Day weekend of July 1, 2016 is pure blockbuster territory, as The BFG will open opposite the sci-fi sequel Independence Day 2, director David Yates’ (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) live-action Tarzan with Alexander Skarsgard, and Sony’s animated Angry Birds movie. Tough competition indeed, but DreamWorks appears to be feeling rather confident about The BFG‘s chances.