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Steven Spielberg Is Considering Making a Western

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)

Now that Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” musical will hit theaters soon, the legendary director is considering a Western among his following projects.

Spielberg told Yahoo! Entertainment via Screen Rant that when questions came up about what film genre he regretted not tackling over his 40-year career, he answered the musical. He recently did a remake of “West Side Story” that will hit theaters soon. But then he neglected to say a Western film.

He said he’s never done it and never really tackled it.

“So who knows,” the director said. “Maybe I’ll be putting on spurs someday.”

Interviewer Kevin Polowy joked to the director that he would now be getting 50 pitches for movies. But then Spielberg mentioned he had a few Westerns in film development but didn’t know which would hit screens.

By the way, I’m not sure why “Back To The Future Part III” doesn’t count. That film grossed $246.1 million at the box office. Yes, technically, it was a science fiction movie, so I guess Spielberg would want to make something without the science fiction elements. 

According to a movie’s special features vignette, director Robert Zemeckis asked star Michael J. Fox in the first movie what time period he’d like to see during a possible Back To The Future sequel. Fox responded that he wanted to visit the Old West and meet cowboys.

Director Has Produced Westerns, But Not Directed

Yes, Spielberg had a hand in creating the 2005 TNT network miniseries “Into The West” with six two-hour episodes. Spielberg watched as six directors took the episodes and put their take on them.

“Into the West” got 16 Emmy Award nods the next year, and it won two awards for Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing and Outstanding Music Composition.

The series followed two families, one white and one Native American, during America’s expansion westward. Spielberg’s drama also mixed real and fictional characters with events in the frontier from 1825 to 1890. 

The story intertwines real and fictional characters and events spanning the period of expansion of the United States in the American frontier from 1825 to 1890.

Some notable names in the series were Josh Brolin, “Yellowstone” stars Gil Birmingham and Wes Patton, singer Christian Kane, longtime Native American actor Wes Studi, and “Reservoir Dogs” actor Zahn McClarnon.

Spielberg Has Tackled Many Genres

It would make sense for the longtime director to go into westerns.

He’s one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. When he was growing up in New Jersey and Arizona, westerns and war films dominated the box offices. So take his long history of successful movies like Indiana Jones, and we could be talking about something bigger than the True Grit remake ($252M at the box office), Dances With Wolves ($424M), or Django Unchained ($449M) movies of recent past.

In 2016, the director told The Hollywood Reporter that the superhero movie genre would not last as long as the western genre, which he recognized lasted for 70 years.