How Steven Spielberg Picked His Next Two Movies

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Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider

The director, sitting on the sidelines since 2012's "Lincoln," will helm a Cold War thriller starring Tom Hanks and an adaptation of Roald Dahl's "The BFG," while sources say he is wary of making a $200 million action movie.

This story first appeared in the May 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Sitting on the sidelines since 2012's Lincoln, Steven Spielberg finally has decided on his next movie -- make that his next two movies. Spielberg, 67, plans to begin shooting The BFG, based on Roald Dahl's children's book, for DreamWorks in early 2015. First, though, he'll likely tackle an untitled Cold War thriller starring Tom Hanks that could begin filming in September in New York and Berlin.

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With DreamWorks CEO and co-chairman Stacey Snider expected to move to a top post at Fox, some were betting that Spielberg, Snider and Fox would join forces on a big action movie like Robopocalypse. But several sources say the director remains gun-shy about taking on a film that would cost around $200 million (requiring a gross in the $600 million range to break even). Neither of the new projects has that kind of price tag -- BFG is said to be in the $100 million to $125 million range.

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Plus, one insider says Spielberg sees the two movies as a way to pay back Reliance -- the India-based backer that has invested hundreds of millions in DreamWorks with mixed results -- with an inexpensive thriller that could have Oscar potential and four-quadrant family appeal.