What is up with Steven Spielberg? It seems like, every week, he’s dropping out of some project, developing a new movie, signing on to helm a long held over prospect, and basically waffling over what he will do next. For a while, every movie he made was anticipated and appreciated.
Now, he’s left so many undeveloped offerings at the altar that he’s the cinematic version of a cad. Sure, ‘Lincoln’ was a likeable history lesson with an amazing performance by Daniel Day-Lewis at its core, but neither ‘War Horse’ nor ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ inspired the kind of popcorn pleasures the former king of the blockbusters was known for.
Now, he’s becoming better known for the films he won’t be working on (‘Robopocalypse,’ ‘American Sniper‘) than anything he plans on helming – and that’s not likely to change. According to Film Buff Online and The Hollywood Reporter, the director will be backing an American remake of the Japanese drama Like ‘Father, Like Son.’ Oddly enough, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s movie about a child was switched at birth premiered at Cannes, where Spielberg was heading up the jury. While it failed to win the coveted Palme d’Or, it did walk away with the prize awarded by Mr. ‘Jaws’ and company.
Here’s a synopsis from its debut at Cannes:
The “switched at birth” urban legend and the Nature-vs.-Nurture debate provide Hirokazu Kore-eda with a fresh opportunity to revisit his ongoing preoccupation with family dynamics and parent-child relationships in contemporary Japan. The life of go-getting workaholic architect Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) – one of comfort and quietly ordered affluence with his wife Midori (Ono Machiko) and son Keita (Keita Ninomiya) – is violently overturned when hospital administrators reveal the unthinkable: Keita is not his biological son. Due to a mistake made by a negligent nurse, his “true” son has been raised in the dishevelled but warm-hearted home of working-class shopkeeper Yudai (Lily Franky) and his wife (Yôko Maki). The different approaches of both couples to their excruciating dilemma and the gradual emotional awakening of the all-too-rational Ryota are at the core of this sensitive drama of family feeling, which showcases Kore-eda’s rich sense of humanity.
Though he won’t be directing (darn it!), he will be overseeing the update, and the material is something the celebrated artist can really appreciate. Spielberg’s films are almost always buffered by an ongoing fixation with family. Here’s what he had to say about his involvement:
“When I saw the film at Cannes, I was so impressed by its power to bring such a human story to the screen. Here at DreamWorks Studios, Stacey (Snider) and our team recognized that it was a story we wanted to remake to bring to our audiences throughout the world. I thank Hirokazu Kore-eda and Fuji TV for giving us this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Another day, another non-gig behind the lens for our one time box office king.