“I am best friends with George [Lucas] and I’m very obedient to the stories that he writes,” War Horse director Steven Spielberg says in a new Entertainment Weekly article. “I’ll fight things I don’t believe in but ultimately if George wants to bring interdimensional beings into Crystal Skull, I will do the best job I possible can to acquit George’s idea and make him proud.”
He creatively defers to a man who’s been renowned since the late ’80s as one of the worst, most hackneyed story conceptualists in movie history? The guy who created Jar-Jar Binks and built a large portion of the first Star Wars prequel around Jake Lloyd, and who later cast Hayden Christensen as Annakin Skywalker? That’s it. Game over.
Plus: Nonsensicalist Tim Queeney reports that “according to a late night phone call from a friend who is high in the Lincoln production team, Spielberg plans to ‘go with his gut’ and make some changes to the historical story of Abraham Lincoln, played in the film by Daniel Day Lewis. Most people probably won’t even notice. Here’s a quick rundown:
“Mary Todd Lincoln: Spielberg has reportedly found the Mary Todd role too ‘downbeat.’ The Todd Lincoln character was dropped and Charlize Theron has been brought in to play Swedish singer Jenny Lind, who falls in love with Lincoln in the movie. The film will show Lind and Lincoln meeting on the ramparts of Ft. Sumter as it is bombarded by Confederate forces at the start of the Civil War in 1861. Lincoln will save Lind by swinging from the fort’s flagpole onto a waiting Union Navy aircraft carrier. Tom Cruise has a uncredited cameo as a fighter pilot who covers Lincoln and Lind’s escape by napalming Rebel batteries at Ft. Moultrie.
“Siege of Petersburg: Spielberg feels a siege with ‘a lot of extras standing around in trenches’ is not cinematic so he has re-imagined the siege as a sunset railroad chase in which Gen. U.S. Grant (played by Sam Worthington) pursues Gen. Robert E. Lee (Chris Hemsworth) in an attempt to win back a magic whiskey bottle, with both generals on handcars crossing rickety trestles and transiting tunnels with lots of steam and improbable light sources.
“Ford’s Theater: Test audiences found the Ford’s Theater assassination ‘a bit dry’ and didn’t like John Wilkes Booth’s use of Latin, so Spielberg shot a new ending with a duel and a lavish musical number. First, Lincoln and Booth square off in a lengthy bare-chested sword fight across the rooftops and bridges of Washington. After Lincoln dispatches Booth, Lincoln and Lind ride chariots down Fifth Avenue in New York City during a ticker tape parade, singing Neil Young‘s ‘Southern Man’ and ending at the foot of the Statue of Liberty as Tom Cruise and a squadron of F/A-18 Super Hornets does a low-level flyover.”