HOLLYWOOD – With no movie slated for release for the foreseeable future, Steven Spielberg has turned his attention back to his long term passion project Uncle Ben, based on the popular parboiled rice product.
Spielberg, whose previous attempted to make the film in the early 80s with Sidney Poitier, has confirmed in a candid interview with bespoke food journal Gastronomica that Samuel L. Jackson will now play the lead role:
Sidney would have made a fabulous Uncle Ben but even back in the 1981, the subject matter was controversial and we couldn’t get any funding. Fortunately, times and attitudes have changed and now with Samuel L on board, I’m excited I’ll finally get to tell this tale.
Despite Uncle Ben being a completely fictitious character created by a marketing company, Spielberg said it was the blank canvass that attracted him to the project:
I thought sure, Uncle Ben wasn’t a real guy but what if he was? What would his life have been like? As soon as I asked myself that question everything was possible. To be honest, if I’d kept all my ideas, the film would’ve been six hours long but with the help of George [Lucas] I redrafted and managed to get it down to 220 minutes of screen time.
Spielberg went on to give a basic outline of the potentially ground breaking script:
So it starts off at the Crucifixion. Jesus is about to be nailed to the cross and Uncle Ben appears through a wormhole, kills all of the Romans with a laser gun and rescues him. Then he jumps forward in time and assassinates Hitler before he can start World War 2 and then jumps back again to pop a cap in the ass of the guy who invented slavery. Basically he’s a time travelling Black James Bond by night and, by day, he’s a humble shopkeeper peddling rice to working class housewives.
Asked about George Lucas‘ contribution to the script Spielberg said he was forced to cut it out:
It was a scene were Uncle Ben meets a woman that he is sexually attracted to, they kiss, but it ends up being his sister. We filmed it but it was a little weird and we really wanted to aim for a PG rating.
Uncle Ben is due for release in 2015