Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Steven Spielberg is going to push back Robopocalypse, the giant science fiction pic that he was scheduled to direct this spring for Fox and Disney through DreamWorks. Spielberg, who must be wiped out after shooting and promoting Lincoln, isn’t dropping out of the movie, I’m told. Rather, he just didn’t want to rush an expensive film, and wanted more time to work on it. Based on the Daniel H. Wilson novel and with a script by Drew Goddard, Robopocalypse was to star Chris Hemsworth and Anne Hathaway and concerns a battle for survival after mankind generates its first mass intelligence computer brain only to see it escape. There are huge robot battle scenes, and the film would have been coming on the heels of Guillermo del Toro’s eagerly anticipated Pacific Rim, which bows this summer. Perhaps a bit of space isn’t the worst thing in the world for this film. It can’t be a happy development for Tom Rothman, who stepped out of the Fox executive suites to become a producer on the film.

Now, there will be instant speculation on whether Spielberg will take on a project like the widely rumored Moses epic Gods And Kings, which Stuart Hazeldine and Michael Green scripted at Warner Bros, and which finds itself in competition with the Ridley Scott-attached Fox project Exodus, which Adam Cooper and Bill Collage scripted. It’s too early to tell what he’ll do next. All I’m told is that there was no reason to rush Robopocalypse, and if Spielberg waited 12 years to get Lincoln right, this one can wait a big longer. It would have been his first big science fiction project since Minority Report and War Of The Worlds.

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