Film Trailers

Bridge of Spies – There’s a New Spielberg/Tom Hanks Movie Coming Out? Fantastic!

It has been too long since we’ve had a new Steven Spielberg movie.  His last one was 2012’s Lincoln, which won Daniel Day Lewis an Oscar, made some people cry, and caused others to lament, “The opening scene recreates the Lincoln Memorial with a still alive Abraham Lincoln seated in an elevated position above two admiring freed slaves, which sets the tone for the hagiography throughout the rest of the movie.”  Since then, Spielberg has backed best bud George Lucas’ assertion that the film industry will eventually implode, cast Anne Hathaway and Chris Hemsworth in a big-budget sci-fi thriller called Robopocalypse only to pull the plug right before filming in order to rework the script, and took a stab at making American Sniper until Warner Bros. gave the job to Clint Eastwood.  He’s also simply been busy with his main job as a DreamWorks studio mogul, executive producing plenty of movies and TV shows, yielding the field of spectacle-filmmaking to his younger colleagues.  Colin Trevorrow can go make Jurassic World and show us a huge dinosaur eating a great white shark; Spielberg wants to make a cold war drama with Tom Hanks.

steven-spielberg-tom-hanks-st-james-placeI am personally in the midst of a Spielberg nostalgia binge, entirely brought on by the forthcoming release of Jurassic World.  I re-watched Jurassic Park and then E.T. and then Close Encounters of the Third Kind and then Jaws, etc.  I miss the version of Spielberg who seemed to always appeal to the kid in everyone, wowing us and making us walk out of theaters thinking, “Wow, they resurrected dinosaurs!  How’d they do that?”  But, of course, at the same time he was making those movies he was also making The Color Purple and Schindler’s List.  In recent years, he’s busied himself with Oscar contenders (Lincoln, War Horse, Munich), technical experiments (Adventures of Tintin), an obligatory sequel for which he apparently had little passion (Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), low-key character dramas (The Terminal) and conman comedy that turns into a dramatic depiction of fathers and sons (Catch Me If You Can).

Now, he’s re-teamed with Tom Hanks on Bridge of Spies, which dramatizes the real-life Cold War tale of a United States attorney (Hanks) first charged with defending a captured Soviet spy in court and then with unofficially negotiating a prisoner exchange using the Soviet spy as a bargaining chip to reclaim Francis Gary Powers, a U.S. pilot shot down over Soviet airspace in 1960 while flying a U-2 spy plane.  The title refers to the bridge that links the former West Berlin to land that was previously under the control of East Germany, and the script was co-written by The Coen Brothers and newcomer Matt Charman.  Here’s the first trailer:

It looks like there might some attempt in the film to comment on our modern war on terror, specifically in the ways in which the Soviet spy is tortured.  However, similar to The Terminal there might be nothing more to the motivations behind this movie other than Spielberg thought it was an interesting real life story he wanted to bring to film.  Either way, it may not be the spectacle filmmaking of old, but it looks like it will be a very well made historical thriller which will undoubtedly have everyone asking, “Wow, was the guy Hanks played really in that much danger?” to which historians will say, “No, the movie exaggerated things.  What do you expect?  It’s a movie.”

Two more things:

1. John Williams was unable to provide a score for Bridge of Spies, making this only the second Spielberg film without a Williams score (the other is The Color Purple).

2. Spielberg’s next movie, which is currently filming and tentatively due out next summer, is an adaptation of the Roald Dahl children’s novel The BFG.

Bridge of Spies opens on October 16th, the same month that has recently given us awards-contenders like Gone Girl, Gravity, Captain Phillips and Argo.



  1. Unless this is bloody incredible beyond belief I can’t see it challenging as an awards contender, however, I find the Cold War fascintating and so this is definitely a picture I’m looking forward to.

    1. I could see it doing more what captain Phillips and gone girl did instead of gravity and argo, as far as awards go, which is to say that it will do okay with some awards bodies but be mostly snubbed by the academy. However, it is interesting the way October has become the launching pad for prestige movies with box office potential, and how even it does not work out for them during awards season they tend to still make plenty of money and turn into really well-liked movies. Who knows how it will work out for sure with Bridge of Spies, but I am looking forward to seeing it.

      1. Yeah I can’t see it doing great at the Academy but it depends how it resonates with the audience. From the trailer it looks like a standard wartime thriller, albeit the Cold War but your point about the war on terror and the such could play into its reception massively.

  2. Well its hard to match with greats like Argo, Gravity and Captain Phillips. The Terminal is the most under rated Spielberg movie and is a superb comedy and a must-watch. About the movie, I think it will have some scope in the Original Screenplay category for the Coen brothers

  3. Tedious and decades OFF POINT ‘agenda friendly’ product from Spielberg.

    MEANWHILE- – -franchise slum Hollywood is obediently ‘overlooking’ this year’s
    awesomely relevant 65th Anniversary of the 21st century LINCHPIN
    ————————————KOREAN WAR————————————-


    1. I think Bridge of Spies will probably be good for what it is, but I will admit that I kind of miss the Spielberg who made big, fun popcorn movies instead of mournful period pieces.

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