Let’s count off the four Steven Spielberg–Mark Rylance hook-ups, which seem to be a result of some kind of fetish on Spielberg’s part as he’s obviously doing the hiring. The first, of course, was Bridge of Spies, a period drama for which Rylance won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of real-life Russian spy Rudolf Abel. Next came Spielberg’s The BFG, a fantasy-adventure in which Rylance plays the titular lead character (i.e., Big Fucking Giant), and which will debut at next month’s Cannes Film Festival before opening stateside on 7.1. Next is The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, which Spielberg will begin directing early next year with Rylance portraying Pope Pius IX, a supporting role. After that comes Spielberg’s Ready Player One, in which Rylance will portray the creator of a virtual world, Oasis, whose death propels the plot. Spielberg will direct and produce the film for release in March 2018.
The best-known fetish collaboration of the 21st Century was the one between Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, but Spielberg-Rylance is clearly nipping at their heels. I for one felt fully sated by Spielberg-Rylance after Bridge of Spies. I saw it and said to myself “Okay, that was fine but Rylance and Spielberg can go their separate ways now…best of luck, guys!” Nope.