The next year will see everything from Harry Potter and "Spy Kids" sequels to Austin Powers and Sam Mendes' follow-up to "American Beauty"

Steven Spielberg goes back to the future with a sci-fi thriller starring Tom Cruise as a killer crime-buster

Steven Spielberg comes to his interview with a warning. ”I don’t do these ‘let me sell my movies’ very well, so you’re probably not going to get very much out of me,” says the superstar director of Minority Report, his long-awaited sci-fi collaboration with superstar actor Tom Cruise. Yet, a few questions in, Spielberg starts gushing like a proud papa. Based on a Philip K. Dick short story, Report has Cruise playing a futuristic cop who can bust murderers before they kill, thanks to tips supplied by a team of seers (including Sweet and Lowdown‘s Oscar nominee Samantha Morton). But when Cruise himself is accused, our hero goes on the run, trying to crack the crime he’s supposed to commit. ”If I had to make a blend, I would say it’s The Maltese Falcon meets Raiders of the Lost Ark, with just a touch of madness,” says Spielberg, adding that Report’s 477 special-effects shots are his most since Close Encounters of the Third Kind 25 years ago. Spielberg shot Report last summer, as his Stanley Kubrick homage A.I. was befuddling audiences and critics. Does he feel any pressure to bounce back strong? Nope. ”I feel like I’ve given my life over to pleasing audiences, and I feel like it’s my time to start pleasing myself,” he says. ”I’m not motivated to make records fall. If that interested me, I would have said yes to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The lamppost knew that film was going to light the world on fire!” After back-to-back futuristic flicks, Spielberg says he’s looking forward to shooting Catch Me if You Can (due at year’s end), starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks and set in the 1960s—which is about as ”present-day” as Spielberg likes to get. ”My movies tend to be yesterday or tomorrow,” says the director, DreamWorks mogul, and father of seven. ”That tends to interest me more because, you know, I kinda have a pretty good present day going right now.” (June 28)

Al Pacino headlines a crime drama from the mastermind behind Memento

No, the title doesn’t refer to a condition caused by trying to follow up the art-house smash that made you both an Oscar hopeful and an EW Entertainer of the Year. Though it could. But Memento writer-director Chris Nolan may rest a bit easier knowing that his $50 million remake of the 1998 Scandinavian psychological thriller—about a sleepless cop investigating the murder of a teenage girl—stars Al Pacino, Hilary Swank, and Robin Williams (playing a very bad guy). ”It has been logarithmic growth. I mean, Al f—ing Pacino,” marvels the director, who moved the action to Alaska and recast the lead detective role to make Pacino a visiting, highly respected cop from Los Angeles. ”But I didn’t really notice how big this was until my brother came up to visit. He wrote the story Memento was based on and worked on the actual production of the movie. Seeing his reaction, I was like, Whoa!” (May 24)

8 Mile
  • Movie
  • 111 minutes