Yesterday we brought you an image and video from a Lord of the Rings Hobbit reunion courtesy of this month's issue of Empire Magazine, which also includes among its geeky pages part two of their Steven Spielberg special, featuring an interview with him about all things The Adventures of Tintin (which is receiving rave reviews out of the UK), as well as his thoughts on the criticisms Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull faced following its opening, and updates on Jurassic Park 4 and Indiana Jones 5.
On Jurassic Park 4: "The screenplay is being written right now by Mark Protosevich. I'm hoping that will come out in the next couple of years. We have a good story. We have a better story for four than we had for three..."
On Indiana Jones 5: "You have to ask George Lucas. George is in charge of breaking the stories. He's done it on all four movies. Whether I like the stories or not, George has broken all the stories. He is working on Indy V. We haven't gone to screenplay yet, but he's working on the story. I'll leave it to George to come up with a good story."
Finally, Spielberg opened up regarding the criticisms Crystal Skull faced, admitting he didn't like the MacGuffin, but said the story was always in George Lucas' hands. "I sympathise with people who didn't like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin. George and I had big arguments about the MacGuffin. I didn't want these things to be either aliens or inter-dimensional beings. But I am loyal to my best friend. When he writes a story he believes in - even if I don't believe in it - I'm going to shoot the movie the way George envisaged it."
However, the "Blame Lucas" train stopped at one point when Spielberg took a bullet for the atom-bomb refrigerator scene, claiming that was his idea. "Blame me. Don't blame George. That was my silly idea. People stopped saying "jump the shark". They now say, "nuked the fridge". I'm proud of that. I'm glad I was able to bring that into popular culture."
Hey, you have to admire how "tapped in" Spielberg always is to geek culture. He knows exactly what people liked, what they didn't like and what they're saying now. It's important for him to know these things instead of operating inside a bubble, and that's part of why he is still doing great things on the big screen.
What do you think about all this? Is Spielberg making the right moves letting Lucas handle the major story elements of the Indiana Jones movies? Excited for Jurassic Park 4? Going to see Tintin on opening day when it arrives stateside this December?