There are at least three major projects vying for Steven Spielberg’s attention at the moment: The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara by Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner; a live-action adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book The BFG; and an untitled Cold War thriller that would star Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan star Tom Hanks. Any of those films—or perhaps none of them—could be Spielberg’s next release, but it’s looking more likely that the Jaws and Raiders Of The Lost Ark auteur will go with the Cold War film, particularly with the wildly exciting news from The Hollywood Reporter that the Coen brothers have been brought in to work on the screenplay.
Matt Charman wrote the original draft of the film, which is about the real-life story of James Donovan, “an attorney who was thrust into the center of the Cold War when he negotiated with the KGB for the release of downed U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers.” The Coens have typically focused most of their screenwriting energies on their own directorial efforts, but in recent years they’ve begun writing more for other filmmakers. They worked on the 2012 remake of Gambit starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz that barely got released in the United States, and they had a hand in Angelina Jolie’s upcoming sports-and-war drama Unbroken.
And now for my thoughtful and nuanced analysis of this news: Manohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohman this is going to be awesome. Would Spielberg’s optimistic outlook lighten the cynical Coens? Or vice versa? I have no idea, but I really hope we all get to find out.