Steven Spielberg wants to direct TV; says he almost turned Lincoln into a six-hour HBO series
Steven Spielberg has directed some of the biggest movies of all time, but could he turn his eye to television in the not-too-distant future? While speaking on the Smartless podcast (via The Playlist), Steven Spielberg said that he would like to direct a TV series.
“I do have an appetite for long-form, and someday, I will direct a long-form series,” Steven Spielberg said. “I mean, if someone would have brought me Mare of Easttown, I would have done that. That was a beautifully directed story.” The director added that he was close to expanding his Abraham Lincoln movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis into a six-hour series for HBO. “I was willing to do Lincoln as a six-hour [show] because I couldn’t raise all the financing for it. No one believed in it…I went around town and everyone turned me down,” Spielberg said. “I was ready to make a deal with HBO to do it and expand it to six hours. Tony Kushner’s first draft was 150 pages, so I had the goods! I had the material. I don’t know if I could have talked Daniel Day-Lewis into doing six hours, but I was on the brink of that.“
Although it’s been quite some time since Steven Spielberg last directed a TV show, he did get his start on the small screen. Rod Sterling gave Spielberg his first directing gig when he hired him to helm a segment of Night Gallery, his supernatural anthology series. From there, he went on to direct episodes of Marcus Welby, M.D., The Name of the Game, Columbo, and more. He also directed Duel, a made-for-TV movie which was released in theaters overseas. Spielberg also helmed two episodes of his Amazing Stories series, which stands as his last time directing television… so far.
Steven Spielberg’s next project could see him tackling a new movie based on Bullitt, the classic action thriller starring Steve McQueen. The project was announced nearly a year ago, with Bradley Cooper later signing on to star as Frank Bullitt. Based on Mute Witness by Robert L. Fish, the original film starred McQueen as a no-nonsense San Francisco cop who becomes determined to track down the underworld kingpin who killed the witness in his protection. Spielberg’s project won’t be a remake of the movie, but will instead tell an original story with the Frank Bullitt character at its center.
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