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From Dinos to Robots

Steven Spielberg who’s up for two Best Picture Oscars, has just finished shooting Lincoln and from September begins work on a sci-fi with a message in the popcorn. His recent War Horse (2011) that unfolds against the backdrop of World War I, has plenty of battle scenes and has bagged six nominations at the upcoming Academy Awards.

hollywood Updated: Feb 23, 2012 13:43 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

A schoolboy recites Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in the opening scene of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report (2002). His Bixby Letter was an indirect plot device in Saving Private Ryan (1998). Now, the 16th President of the United States is the subject of Spielberg’s Lincoln, lining up for a Christmas, 2012 release.

“I just finished shooting the movie with Daniel Day-Lewis and I’m now right in the middle of editing it,” he says, refusing to divulge more details. All he’ll admit is that though Lincoln guided the North to victory in the Civil War, the film based on Kearns Goodwin’s bestselling book, Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius Of Abraham Lincoln, will not have any ‘war’ moments and is set in Washington.

His recent War Horse (2011) that unfolds against the backdrop of World War I, has plenty of battle scenes and has bagged six nominations at the upcoming Academy Awards. With The Help (2011) also grabbing four nominations, Spielberg is up for two Best Picture Oscars this Sunday.

“Some of my movies are about how the world works, most about how I wish the world would work. War Horse is a little more symphonic in tone than Saving Private Ryan or the two TV mini-series I co-produced, Band Of Brother (2001) and The Pacific (2010). They were a gut-rending, realistic look at combat, but with War Horse I took a conscious step back since it’s a family film with values I’d want young people to experience,” he says.

War Horse is the first film he’s digitally edited. It’s been shot on film but cut on Avid since he was doing Adventures Of Tintin (2011) at the same time and couldn't have an analog and a digital room in the same space. “It’s not my favorite medium for putting a film together, “ he admits. “It’s too fast, makes me think a little quicker on my feet. And I think faster on a film set than I do in the editing room.”

Around September, Spielberg starts shooting a sci-fi film, Robopocalypse, based on Daniel Wilson’s book. “It’s a cautionary tale about a war between humans and robots… A big action popcorn movie with a message that’s in the popcorn and you dig down deep in the bottom for it,” he says. “I have a couple of other plans but they’re too far out in the horizon. There’s a lot of TV work my company is producing for some of the networks and cable outlets, so I’m busy!”