HOLLYWOOD – Film maker, Steven Spielberg has long been seen as a master storyteller and a conductor whose orchestra is the vast array of human sentiment. However, today on the eve of the release of his epic Lincoln starring Daniel Day Lewis, it has been revealed that he is also a slave owner.
The Amblin Plantation in South Dakota contains a population of over three hundred Vietnamese slaves which the 1941 director bought in the late seventies before slavery was made definitively illegal and while, according to Kate Capshaw: ‘It was all the rage’.
His first slave was Hai Ke Quan, the father of Jonathan Ke Quan who played Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984. His slaves are apparently treated humanely except for any who voice dissent about Spielberg’s role as Executive Producer on the Transformers franchise. One run away slave however spoke of having to sit through Amistad every night for a week.
‘It was like totally hypocritical,’ Ho Ak Bahn said. ‘I mean you know. Bullshit man.’
When questioned about the plantation, Spielberg responded that he had nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. ‘These people are like children who need to be taken care of,’ he said.
|Short Round was captured starred in a film and then sent aback
But isn’t this precisely the attitude that Lincoln and Amistad criticise? Studio Exec courageously was alone in asking, with a frail tremulous voice on the verge of cracking.
‘No,’ said The Sugarland Express (as he likes to be known). ‘That is a totally different kettle of fish. Mine aren’t black, so it isn’t racism.’
HOLLYWOOD – Following the moderate success of War Horse, Steven Spielberg has announced that two sequels will follow the adventures of Joey: Peace Horse and Glue Factory Horse.
Although Steven will not take the director’s chair he will oversee productions as an Executive Producer, leaving the shouting of ‘action’ and ‘cut’ to old friend Spike Lee.
Peace Horse has already got a script and some of the story is known as an early draft of the script by Frank Darabont leaked onto the Internet. Having survived for the horrors of the First World War, Joey and his best friend and owner, Albert return to the farm even as Georgia burns in the background. Joey is set to work ploughing the fields as the increasingly unsentimental Albert follows his father into depression and alcoholism. Following the death of his parents, Albert marries Nora, a girl who it turns out also has a horse, called Mimsy, who Joey falls in love with. However, Albert stating boldly that ‘we don’t need two horses’ shoots Mimsy in the foreface with his father’s shotgun, before in a drunken rage turning the gun on his wife and then himself.
The second film starts in the smoking ruins of the farm with David Thewlis – reprising his role as Lyons – frames Joey for the murder of Albert and Nora and sells Joey to a glue factory. What happens next is as yet unclear but the running time of the film (21 minutes) doesn’t look good for Joey.
Spielberg said ‘When we made the first War Horse no animal was harmed despite our best efforts. I’m hoping Spike Lee will manage finally to kill this goddam horse.’
War Horse 2 and 3 will be released in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
HOLLYWOOD – I remember when Stevie Spielberg first came into my office with his script. It was called Amity then. I read it as he played pin ball, whooping and hollering and full of energy and vim.
‘Well?’ he asks.
‘I like it,’ I tell him. ‘The peaceful seaside community, the cop from New York, kids Karate chopping fences. It’s great. But I got one word for you: Shark!’
His eyes lit up. I gave him a novel I’d read, Godawful piece of trash but there was a shark in it: Jaws by Peter Benchley, who I knew because of his father. A week later back comes Stevie, script rewritten. He shoots some hoops in the yard while I read. The cop’s son befriends the lonely shark and they have adventures. ‘You didn’t read the book, did you?’
He shakes his head. ‘I looked at the cover, briefly,’ he admits.
‘Okay,’ I tell him. ‘We need a severed head, a bitten off leg and a great score by Henry Mancini.’
Well, two out of three ain’t bad.
(This extract was taken from the forthcoming book Lunches with Assholes: How Films Get Made due out for Xmas)
HOLLYWOOD – The new Indiana Jones blu-ray – the box set of which recently went on sale – has been adjudged a ‘missed opportunity’ by George Lucas.
‘Spiely’s muffed it,’ spat Lucas, fuming. ‘He had the opportunity to CGI Tom Selleck’s face onto Harrison Ford and totally didn’t.’
Other changes the Phantom Menace director suggested in a note to his former friend (now worst enemy) included:
- a new scene with the full sword fight put in, getting rid of that embarrassing pulling the pistol and shooting the Arab joke
- CGI snakes doing loads of stuff and flying too
- in Temple of Doom more racism, ‘much more funnier’
- Sean Connery replaced by Samuel L. Jackson
- and where are the prequels?
To the last question Studio Exec reminded Lucas of his own Young Indy Chronicles which the beard-flapped swirl-quiffed visionary seemed to have forgotten. He waved a hand impatiently, ‘Never heard of them.’
Indiana Jones 5 is due for release in 2016.
HOLLYWOOD – George Lucas came out today in a scathing attack on his ex-friend Steven Spielberg on the occasion of the release of Jaws on blu-ray.
‘I gave Steven notes on this and he ignored them all,’ said the genius behind The Phantom Menace and Howard the Duck. ‘This was an opportunity to improve a film with all sorts of CGI brilliance and gee-gaws, but I’m afraid my friend Steven is definitely a talent on the wane.’
According to our source, the Lucas – Spielberg relationship never really recovered from arguments about casting Raiders of the Lost Ark. Famously, Lucas would have preferred Tom Selleck in the role of the whip-cracking archaeologist and when the opportunity to create the blu-ray of the Indiana Jones series, even suggested CGI-ing Selleck’s face onto Harrison Ford’s body. A mutual friend told Studio Exec, ‘It’s been years now that whenever George speaks, Steven just smiles and nods, smiles and nods.’
Some of George’s Jaws Suggestions.
CGI the goddam shark, Stevie. CGI the hell out of that asshole. Then you can add it to all the scenes, from the very beginning. And because it’s CGI and you don’t need to worry about gravity and what not, you can make it like leap out of the water and fly around like I did with R2D2.
With more shark footage you can skip all those dialogue scenes, which you yourself thought of as filler I recall. Ditch the Indianapolis speech for example. It goes on and on and who cares? It was olden day stuff anyway.
Everyone loves the Johnny Williams score but why not spruce it up. Add some lyrics. ‘Ja–aws, Ja–aws, the shark is coming with his great big Ja-aws.’ I’m spitballing here but you know what I mean.
Instead of Hooper, why not a character to give a bit more ethnic color? Pedro the Mexican oceanographer, gets into scrapes, lots of fun. Like JarJar. ‘Chief, I don wanna get een the caaaaage!’
Finally Robert Shaw’s performance is the weakest part of the film. Frankly embarrassing nd very difficult to understand. Why don’t we overdub him with Morgan Freeman’s voice? And while we’re ADRing, we can add some explanatory dialogue. The first victim can say something like ‘Argghhh I am being eaten by a shark. Not good.’ Or Chief Brody can say at the end ‘Oh I know, I’ll fire at the air cannisters and that’ll blow him up.’