Because I disliked his tweedly-deedly performance as the Lord of the Rings “Gollum,” and because he seemed so closely allied with the grand designs of Peter Jackson, I had a kind of negative-reflex thing going with Andy Serkis. That changed when I saw his quietly menacing portrayal of British psychopath and child-killer Ian Brady in the ’06 HBO drama Longford. I was totally on the team from then on.
In any event, I read in an Indie London interview piece this morning that Serkis is about to start on work Tintin, an animated feature about the Belgian comic-strip character “and his faithful dog Snowy.” (Good God.) Bagging paychecks as co-directors are Steven Spielberg and Jackson. (Spielberg is “directing the first one, Jackson the second…the bulk of the shoot starts in September but things got a little bit moved around after the writers√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢ strike.”)
Spielberg, I decided after reading this, has become a kind of delaying sadist regarding the Abraham Lincoln film with Liam Neeson. Chicago 7 this, Tintin that…and we never hear diddly about the Lincoln project. It’s a classic avoidance syndrome thing (a kid avoiding a homework assignment, a guy who keeps putting off doing his taxes). If a benevolent God took any kind of interest in human affairs, Spielberg would (a) officially abandon the Lincoln film and (b) arrange for another esteemed director to step in so it can finally move forward.
Spielberg would just screw it up anyway. He wouldn’t do a Schindler’s List to the story of the nation’s 16th president from 1861 to ’65 — he’d probably Amistad it. I’ll never forget the way John Williams‘ musical score almost overwhelmed the voice of Anthony Hopkins during his big courtroom oratory scene. I remember watching this in a screening room some 11 years ago and saying to myself, “Yep…Spielberg is at the controls, all right.”