2015
The television series Minority Report is conceived as a sequel adaptation to Steven Spielberg’s movie Minority Report (2002).

The series is set in 2065 Washington, D.C. – eleven years after the events of the movie – and follows Dash (Stark Sands), a Precog, who has the ability to predict crimes. After the Precrime Unit was dismantled in 2054, law enforcement is forced to rely on more advanced methods. Dash, his twin brother Arthur (Nick Zano), and their foster sister Agatha (Laura Regan, replacing Samantha Morton from the film version) were part of the original Precrime program that gave them their unique gifts. Dash is using his ability to assist Detective Lara Vega (Meagan Good) in preventing crimes, at the same time trying to keep his gift from being revealed, as there are forces trying to obtain the Precogs at any cost.

The first TV adaption of a Steven Spielberg-directed movie debuts on Fox in September 2015. The script is written by Max Borenstein. He serves as executive producer alongside Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey, and Darryl Frank.

The pilot is watched by 3.1 million viewers, but due to poor reception and mixed reviews, Fox trims the series order from 13 episodes to 10.

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2015
According to Forbes, Steven Spielberg’s “net worth” is $3.6 billion, with a “self-made score” of 8 out of 10.

On the list of the world’s billionaires, Spielberg ranks #481, far behind his friend George Lucas (#309). Films directed by Spielberg have grossed more than $9 billion worldwide.

Four of them are still in the top 20 of All Time Box Office champions (adjusted for inflation):

#4: E.T. – The Extraterrestrial (1982)
#7: Jaws (1975)
#16: Jurassic Park (1993)
#20: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

2014
James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy – a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name – is the tenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It features a hand-picked ensemble cast including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave
Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen
Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close
, and Benicio del
Toro
.

Director James Gunn writes the screenplay with Nicole Perlman. The protagonist, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) forms an alliance with a group of extraterrestrial oddballs who are on the run after stealing a powerful artifact.

Gunn attempts to use as many practical effects as possible while filming to aid the use of CGI and Motion Capture during post-production, saying,

“Our sets are enormous. We have a prison that is 350,000 pounds of steel. Anybody who knows me knows I love the mix of practical and CGI effects… I can’t wait for people to see it, because it’s astonishingly beautiful.”

The film is a critical and commercial success, grossing $773.3 million worldwide and becoming the fifth highest-grossing film in the
Marvel Cinematic Universe
. Guardians of the Galaxy is praised for its humor, action, soundtrack, visual effects, direction, musical score, and acting.

Steven Spielberg has previously collaborated with the following cast members: Djimon Hounsou (Amistad), Vin Diesel (Saving Private Ryan) und Zoe Saldana (The Terminal). Chris Pratt gets the lead part in the Spielberg-produced blockbuster Jurassic World.

In an interview that first appeared on Omelete.uol.com.br Steven Spielberg calls Guardians of the Galaxy his favorite superhero film:

“I love the Superman of Richard Donner, The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan, and the first Iron Man, but [the] superhero film that impressed me most is one that does not take itself too seriously: Guardians of the Galaxy. When his projection was over, I left with the feeling of having seen something new in movies, without any cynicism or fear of being dark when needed. There is a difference between heroes and superheroes. The hero is an ordinary person who is faced with a serious fact and acts to modify it. A hero is a person who, walking down the street, see[s] a car on fire and runs [to] help the person who is in the driver’s seat, attached to the seat belt to loosen. [A] superhero is a person who, on the same scene, would fly to the car and try to turn it upside down and shake it using his super strength, until the driver is released. I identify more with the first example. Film[s of] everyday heroes.”


The sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, is scheduled to be released on May 5, 2017.


2014
Lord Richard Attenborough dies aged 90.

He was one of Britain’s leading actors, before becoming a highly successful director. In a career that spanned six decades, he appeared in more than 70 films including Brighton Rock (1947), The Great Escape (1963) and The Sand Pebbles (1966) before reaching worldwide stardom in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) in which he played the park’s billionaire creator John Hammond.

As a director he was best known for Gandhi (1982) which received eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director – competing against Spielberg’s E.T. – The Extraterrestrial (1982).

Upon hearing of his death, Steven Spielberg says in a statement:

“He made a gift to the world with his emotional epic Gandhi and he was the perfect ringmaster to bring the dinosaurs back to life as John Hammond in Jurassic Park. […] He was a dear friend and I am standing in an endless line of those who completely adored him.”

2014
Suffering from severe depression, Robin Williams commits suicide.

Friends and colleagues, studios and executives, the directors of his many movies, fellow comics, President Obama are all deeply saddened by the news.

Steven Spielberg expresses shock at Williams’ death at the age of 63:

“Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the
thunder that sustained him. He was a pal and I can’t believe he’s gone.”

Williams starred as Peter Banning in Spielberg’s Hook (1991) and he had a voice role as Dr. Know in A.I. – Artificial Intelligence (2001).

His millions of fans share their appreciation for Williams via social media, moments after the news breaks
that he has been found dead at his home in Tiburon, California, near San
Francisco.

2014
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation awards Steven Spielberg its annual Lincoln Leadership Prize.

The award is presented to Spielberg at a dinner at the Hilton Chicago on March 19. Sally Field, who portrayed Mary Todd Lincoln in Spielberg’s film Lincoln (2012) makes the presentation.

Wayne W. Whalen, chairman of the foundation remarks:

“We are pleased to present this year’s Lincoln Leadership Prize to Steven Spielberg, who brings socially relevant issues to the forefront of our minds through the medium of film. […] His long-time commitment to philanthropic endeavors exemplifies President Lincoln’s conscience and spirit, making him truly deserving of this award.”

Spielberg (whose film Lincoln received 12 Academy Award nominations  winning Oscars for Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor and for Best Production Design) says in a statement:

“This is an extraordinary honor. […] For me, Lincoln’s unprecedented commitment to the cause of democracy is one of the most important examples of leadership our nation has ever seen. I am humbled to receive an award that embodies both his legacy and the profound contributions he made to this country.”

The Lincoln Leadership Prize has been awarded since 2006. Previous honorees include President Bill Clinton, former Polish President Lech Walesa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Astronaut James A. Lovell Jr.

2014
Above and Beyond
– a documentary film about Mahal (volunteers who went to Israel to fight in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War) – is produced by Nancy Spielberg, the youngest sister of Steven Spielberg.

The documentary, written by Sophie Sartain and directed by Roberta Grossman, tells the story of the American, foreign and Israeli pilots who flew warplanes to help defend the new state of Israel against Arab Armies.

Harris Done of The Last Days (1998) is hired as Director of Photography, special effects are provided by Industrial Light and Magic and an original score is composed by Hans Zimmer’s studio.

2014
The film satire The Interview stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists who set up an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Randall Park), and are recruited by the CIA to assassinate him. The film is directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, their second directorial work, following This Is the End (2013).

When the North Korean government threatens action against the film’s release, Columbia Pictures delays the release from October to December, and reportedly re-edits the film to make it more acceptable to North Korea.

In November 2014, the computer networks of parent company Sony Pictures Entertainment are hacked by the “Guardians of Peace” (GOP), a group the FBI suspects of ties to North Korea. Large amounts of data are stolen, revealing the US Social Security numbers of more than 47,000 Sony employees, celebrities and freelancers.

Leaked files include information about executive salaries, home addresses, E-mails, contracts, passwords and copies of passports as well as a copy of the script for the James Bond film Spectre (2015) and digital copies of then-unreleased Sony films.

When the hacker group threatens terrorist attacks against cinemas that intend to show the film, major cinema chains opt not to release the film. Sony decides to release it for online rental and purchase, followed by a limited release at 500 US cinemas.

In a press conference, U.S. President Barack Obama openly criticizes Sony for their decision to cancel the movie’s wide release:

Sony is a corporation. It suffered significant damage. There were threats against its employees. I’m sympathetic to the concerns that they faced. Having said all that, yes I think they made a mistake. […] I would have told them: Do not get into the pattern in which you are intimidated.”

Obama adds: “I will make a decision on those based on what I believe is appropriate and proportional to the nature of this crime.” A few days later, North Koreas’s connection to the Internet is cut off for several hours.

The Interview grosses $40 million in digital rentals, making it Sony’s most successful digital release, and earns over $11 million at the box office. Illegal downloads of the film amount to 750.000.

Members of the press and various cybersecurity experts express
doubt about the claims that North Korea was behind the hack. 

2014
Boyhood
, written and directed by Richard Linklater, follows the childhood and adolescence of Mason Evans, Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) from ages 6 to 18 growing up in Texas with divorced parents. The cast includes Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke as Mason’s parents and Lorelei Linklater (the director’s daughter) as his older sister Samantha.

Production starts without a completed script – it contains only basic plot points and the ending, including the final shot. IFC, the film’s distributor, commits to a film budget of $200,000 per year. Cast and crew gather once or twice each year to film for three or four days (principal photography totals 45 days). Despite the enormous risks, Linklater never has to show IFC the work as it progresses. Boyhood is shot entirely on 35mm film.

Changing the form of cinematic storytelling, Linklater develops his script throughout production, writing new story segments after rewatching the previous year’s footage. When detecting changes in an actor, he incorporates them into the script, while also allowing all major actors to incorporate their life experiences into their characters (without adjusting the general direction of the story).

Lead actor Ellar Coltrane is hired by Linklater as a six-year-old boy, growing older during production just like the rest of the cast. During the 12-year shoot, both Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette actually experience divorces, re-marriage, and have another child.

None of the actors is contractually obligated to return to the set each year due to the De Havilland Law, which makes it illegal to contract someone for more than seven years of work.

Ethan Hawke sums up his filming experience:

“It’s Tolstoy-esque in scope. I thought Before Sunrise (1995) was the most unique thing I would ever be a part of, but Rick has engaged me in something even more strange. Doing a scene with a young boy at the age of seven when he talks about why do raccoons die, and at the age of 12 when he talks about video games, and 17 when he asks me about girls, and have it be the same actor—to watch his voice and body morph—it’s a little bit like time-lapse photography of a human being.”

In the film’s campfire scene, which is set in 2008, father and son are talking about the possibility of another Star Wars movie. Boyhood is released in the same year that Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) starts filming.

The film’s initial title is 12 Years. Linklater changes it to avoid confusion with the similarly-titled, Academy Award-winning 12 Years a Slave (2013).

Boyhood premieres at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and is released theatrically on July 11, 2014.The film is part of the main competition section of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, where Linklater wins the Silver Bear for Best Director. Boyhood receives three Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress for (Patricia Arquette). The film is nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Hawke, winning Best Supporting Actress for Arquette.

According to Metacritic, the film is the most acclaimed film of the 21st century so far. Director Christopher Nolan calls Boyhood “an extraordinary movie”.

A self-taught filmmaker like Steven Spielberg, Richard Linklater is know for his humanist films, often revolving around suburban culture. With Boyhood, more elements are added that are typical for Spielberg: A boy growing up, experiencing the trauma of his parents’ divorce, a flawed father and a strong mother doing her best.

Boyhood grosses $46.4 million worldwide, well above its $4 million production budget.

Richard Linklater’s next film Everybody Wants Some (2016) begins where Boyhood ends: a guy shows up at college and meets his new roommates and a girl. 

2014
Extant, a science fiction TV series created by Mickey Fisher and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, tells the story of astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) who returns home to her family – inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.

Bypassing the traditional pilot stage, CBS places a 13-episode straight-to-series order, with Amblin Television serving as production company.

The series premiere is watched by more than 11 million viewers. Extant receives generally favorable reviews. Critics praise the unique approach to some familiar stories and the strong performance by Halle Berry.

Nevertheless, in 2015, CBS cancels the show after two seasons (26 episodes).