Steven Spielberg: What's next for the acclaimed director after 'Bridge of Spies'

Spielberg is known for helming some of the most beloved family films of all time like 'E.T.' and his future projects may aim for a younger audience than those of his historical dramas 'Bridge of Spies' and 'Lincoln.'

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Steven Spielberg attends the 2013 Ambassadors For Humanity Gala in New York.

Director Steven Spielberg’s newest movie, “Bridge of Spies,” comes to theaters today. 

It’s the newest historical drama by the director who was previously behind the camera for such films as “Lincoln” and “Munich.” “Bridge” is the story of lawyer James Donovan (frequent Spielberg collaborator Tom Hanks), who becomes involved in Cold War politics when the possibility of a prisoner exchange between the US and the Soviet Union is raised.

Since many of Mr. Spielberg’s previous films have won or been nominated for the best picture Oscar prize (he won for the 1993 film “Schindler’s List” and won the Best Director Oscar for another World War II film, 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan”), “Bridge” is currently considered a strong contender for Oscar season. 

Spielberg is a prolific director, having entered the public consciousness with the 1975 summer blockbuster “Jaws” and released a movie at least every few years since then.

He has made the historical drama a specialty of his, with recent movies like “Bridge,” “Lincoln,” and “Munich” being well-received. But Spielberg is also known for crafting films that appeal to almost all ages as far back as 1982’s “E.T.”

How are movies aimed at the entire family received these days? One company that usually aims for all ages and succeeds is Pixar, whose films long ago proved that animated movies aren’t just for children. Their most recent production, “Inside Out,” became a big hit this summer.

Disney is also hitting it big with its live-action adaptations of its animated stories, which are targeted at all ages. Its take on “Cinderella” from earlier this year, 2014’s “Maleficent,” and 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” have done well, and more, like a live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast,” are planned.

The Marvel movies have various violent scenes that would prevent parents from bringing at least younger children to those films – almost all of them end in a big battle against the villain. But movies like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Ant-Man” no doubt attract at least older kids.

It has been some time since Spielberg himself hit it big with a family-aimed movie, however. Recent efforts like 2011’s “War Horse” and “The Adventures of Tintin” did okay at the box office but didn’t become breakout hits. His biggest box office successes are still family movies from decades past like “E.T.” and “Jurassic Park.”

However, he has two big projects coming up that could win over audiences of a wide age range. His upcoming movie “The BFG” is an adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel of the same name and is scheduled for the summer of 2016 – “BFG” could attract a large audience. In addition, his upcoming project “Ready Player One,” which is based on the science fiction novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, has a catchy premise with shades of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in which a teenager must battle others in a virtual reality to win the right to control the virtual world as well as inherit the world’s creator’s money. “Ready” won the American Library Association Alex Award, which is given to books that are targeted at adults but could win over teen readers as well. If the book has an appeal towards different age groups, the movie could, too.

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