Steven Spielberg, who first went to the movies when he was a kid living in Haddon Township, has been stacking up the projects lately, like a flight controller working thr tower at JFK. He’s finished shooting Bridge of Spies, a Cold War thriller based on the story of James Donovan, a lawyer brought in to negotiate the release of an American U2 pilot, Francis Gary Powers, shot down in Soviet airspace. Tom Hanks is starring as Donovan, and he's joined by Alan Alda, Mark Rylance and Amy Ryan. The film is slated for October release. It’s Hanks’ fourth team-up with Spielberg, after Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal.
This week it was announced that the director has signed Jennifer Lawrence for It's What I Do, based on the just-published memoir by Pulitizer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario. Addario has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Congo, Darfur, Haiti and Iraq for the New York Times, National Geographic and other outlets. In 2011 she was one of four journalists taken prisoner by the Libyan Army. (Right now, Lawrence is playing another real-life figure, Joy Mangano, the millionaire entrepreneur and inventor of the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers, in Joy, from her American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell.) The full title of Addario’s book: It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War.
On top of that, Spielberg is making The BFG, adaptating the children’s book by Roald Dahl. And the director has long been attached to Robopocalypse, based on Daniel H. Wilson’s 2011 futuristic cyborg novel of the same name. Spielberg has also been holding onto the rights to use Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches for a planned biopic of the Civil Rights leader. That’s the reason Ava DuVernay had to write “new” speeches for King to deliver in her Oscar-nominated Selma.