Steven Spielberg’s autobiopic The Fabelmans notched seven Oscar nominations today including Best Picture and the filmmaker’s ninth directing nod.
And while Spielberg already counts three Oscar wins –two for directing Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List and Best Picture for the latter– today the blockbuster filmmaker of Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park celebrated his first screenplay nomination ever, in the original category, for The Fabelmans.
While Lincoln scribe, Tony Kushner, encouraged Spielberg to start putting his memories down on paper, the project didn’t come to life until after the death of the Jaws director’s parents, plus the onset of the pandemic.
That long delay for The Fabelmans in Spielberg’s career was never due to writers’ block nor the need to paint the most perfect portrait of his life.
Soon after his parents passed, Spielberg got the urge.
Due to the pandemic impact’s on adult moviegoing, The Fabelmans as a drama was a slow-go at the box office, currently counting under $15M domestic (under the $22.2M of Spielberg’s 1987 war movie Empire of the Sun) and $21.6M worldwide.
However, Spielberg isn’t pessimistic about the future of theatrical or adult dramas on the big screen.
“I think it will come back, but it’s coming back slowly, especially for dramas,” says the director.
As the director of such Oscar-nominated Best Picture tentpoles like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spielberg was happy about the breakthrough of such blockbusters as Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water in Oscar’s Best Picture slot, the combined two pics counting a combined global gross of $3.5 billion.
Turning to the future, Spielberg is still mulling over the next movie he’ll direct; the untitled Frank Bullitt project starring Bradley Cooper being one option.
“Everything is a process, and I don’t have a next film,” he tells Deadline.
In regards to the future of the Indiana Jones franchise, which includes an early in the works Disney+/Lucasfilm series, Spielberg says he was “peripherally involved” with the next movie. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
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