Good and bad news for Steven Spielberg this morning. Starting with the cheerier facts, Lincoln, his critically praised biopic about Honest Abe, is leading the Oscar nominations with 13 nods, including Best Picture and Director. Mazel tov. On the other hand, his movie about robots has been indefinitely postponed.
The news was broken by The Hollywood Reporter, who wrote Robopocalypse “has been postponed for an indefinite time.” A New York Times best selling book by Ph.D. Daniel H. Wilson, the sci-fi tale is set in a future with no modern technology. At least not for humans. Having become increasingly reliant on robots, when an A.I.—artificial intelligence—called Archos is developed, it attempts to destroy humanity. Forced to live off the grid (which in the novel is a native reservation), a group rise up to reclaim Earth as their own.
Clearly in the vein of one of Spielberg’s lesser appreciated films, A.I., Chris Hemsworth and Anne Hathaway were reportedly in talks and shooting was slated to begin in January of last year. With Lincoln in production, however, the project got bumped. On top of this, Spielberg made the dismissive comment in October regarding action films on 60 Minutes, saying he could direct one "in my sleep at this point in my career" and "it doesn't attract me anymore."
By way of explanation Marvin Levy, Spielberg’s spokesperson, was quoted as saying: Robopocalypse was "too important and the script is not ready, and it's too expensive to produce. It's back to the drawing board to see what is possible."
As a bigger fan of sci-fi Spielberg than his historical ventures, the move to shelve the project is unfortunate. But, then again, we can always just sit around trying to say “Robopocalypse” five times fast.