DreamWorks & Fox Team Up For Steven Spielberg's Expensive ‘Robopocalypse’

by Kevin Jagernauth
September 7, 2011 6:13 AM
12 Comments
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By now, you should know the formula: Steven Spielberg generally (with a few exceptions) follows his Oscar bait, dramatic pictures with blockbuster popcorn stuff. Hell, this year alone (in a span of a few months) we'll get dazzling, animated, comic adaptation "The Adventures of Tintin" followed by the WWI story "War Horse." This fall Spielberg will finally shoot his long-gestating dream project "Lincoln" with Daniel Day-Lewis in the lead, but after that? It's back to making some of the best multiplex entertainment out there.

As you might remember, last fall, after nearly a year of rumors and speculation, Spielberg officially came on board to direct "Robopocalypse" which is exactly what it sounds like. Penned by Drew Goddard and based on the book by Daniel H. Wilson, the film will chronicle an epic war between the human race and robots (duh). So yeah, you can already imagine the budget on this will be sky high, so no surprise it's going to take two studios to bring it to the big screen.

Deadline reports that DreamWorks and Fox will co-finance the movie, with Disney distributing in the U.S. and Fox overseas. Phew. That's a lot of hands in the pie. In this era of studios remaining extremely cagey about spending lots of dollars (please see Universal's string of cancelled movies this year) Spielberg is about as close as it gets to a sure thing. His summer movies are events, and have been continual smash hits around the world. Sci-fi is a genre that has largely served him well ("War Of The Worlds," "Minority Report"; but let's not talk about "A.I.") and it's kind of exciting that he'll be stepping back into that realm. And with a premise that promises explosions and effects, this thing is geared up to print money in multiple stacks.

"Robopocalypse is slated for a July 4th, 2013 release. "Lincoln" is currently on the slate for a fall 2012 release and Spielberg will likely stay focused on his long developing project to make sure he gets everything right.

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12 Comments

  • TheoC | September 8, 2011 1:19 AMReply

    I have to say the book is great fun, it's essentially World War Z with robots, but that's high praise for genre literature. It's got a couple of interesting plotlines, the earths downfall, hacking, interspecies dicking, and a group on a mission element that will be great to watch. I'm glad Spielberg is keeping this for himself(not Shawn Levy) and hopefully he won't go too schmaltzy.

    I'm no A.I. fan but his robots were great, it was nearly a great sci-fi movie, but an hour too long/episodic and that teddy bear was pushing it. Also most people seemed to miss that they were ROBOTS and NOT ALIENS at the end.

  • Daniel | September 7, 2011 10:40 AMReply

    A.I. is 100% Kubrick; he wanted Spielberg to direct it as part of the gag. You go into a Kubrick movie, you know to expect misanthropy-- you're prepared for it. But you go into a Spielberg movie, you expect humanism -- and this trick makes the fall that much higher. David is a monster, not a little boy -- he's a distillation of the worst in humanity; unending, relentless, selfish wanting. And he destroys everyone he meets, even beating a little boy to death just because he is competition for his mother's love.

    keep in mind what the 'director' of the flesh fair (wearing an Indiana Jones styled hat and riding in an 'Amblin' moon balloon says:

    "Do not be fooled by the artistry of this creation... Whatever performance this sim puts on, remember we are only
    demolishing artificiality!"

    Sounds like Kubrick talking about the movie itself, if you ask me.

  • rodie | September 7, 2011 9:00 AMReply

    Ok, but can this film get a new title???? Seriously, Robopocalypse? It sounds like a cheesy Grindhouse spoof flick, not an epic sci-fi adventure from Spielberg.

  • hmm | September 7, 2011 8:26 AMReply

    AI is a masterpiece

  • Erik McClanahan | September 7, 2011 8:23 AMReply

    @ Kure
    Thanks! Our mistake. It's been corrected.

  • kure | September 7, 2011 8:11 AMReply

    try to keep up with the news playlist.
    robopocalypse is set for july 4th 2013.

  • John M | September 7, 2011 8:08 AMReply

    "Let's not talk about A.I." because it didn't perform well at the box office?

    Yeah, that's because it's a great, weird, challenging, awesome movie. Movies like that rarely do well at the box office.

  • rabiman | September 7, 2011 7:16 AMReply

    Wasn't this project once called "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"?

  • DanielF23 | September 7, 2011 7:07 AMReply

    A.I. is a masterpiece.

  • bah | September 7, 2011 6:52 AMReply

    And what makes this different from I Robot? It's really time for big budget sci-fi to move beyond robot nightmare scenarios. Been there done that. Time to THINK HARD Hollywood and come up with new spectacular threats to society. Who the hell is scared of a robot takeover now or in thirty years with the global economy collapsing and college kids on food stamps? Rick Perry is far scarier.

  • Mark | September 7, 2011 6:48 AMReply

    A.I. was one of the most critically acclaimed films of the past decade. Why shouldn't we talk about it? It's full of masterful, virtuoso film direction that JJ Abrams could only dream of. It's certainly a much, much better film than War of the Worlds.

  • Kim | September 7, 2011 6:47 AMReply

    Having read the book (which is really good), I kept thinking the big expensive scenes would be the one with Laura Perez finding her kids, maybe some of the 902 stuff, and maybe... maybe the arctic stuff. But things when the robots first start doing their things... We've seen that in "The Twilight Zone." Still it's a really good book. Hopefully this won't be like "A.I: which felt like it had 12 endings.

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