In an exclusive online-only
interview, Steven Spielberg tells EW's David Hochman why
science fiction has such out-of-this-world appeal.
Why are so many sci-fi
People simply love to tell bigger-than-life stories --
stories that are even bigger than this planet -- and
audiences, with their boundless imaginations, are always
right there to reciprocate.
Why is sci-fi such a
You have to remember that science fiction wasn't always a
money-making genre. For many decades sci-fi was a public
as well as a Hollywood disgrace. They lost money on
almost everything except some of the low-budgeted Allied
Artists sci-fi pot boilers like "Attack of the 50 Ft.
Woman." Science fiction was never taken that
seriously by studios. So sci-fi film aficionados couldn't
get the big budgets and were funneled into small-change
categories where their films were forced to compete with
some of the B-movie westerns of the 1950s. I'm grateful
for people like George Pal, who elevated science fiction
to the level of "War of the Worlds," "When
Worlds Collide," "The Conquest of Space,"
and "The Time Machine."
Why does science
fiction capture the public's imagination?
The public has an appetite for anything about imagination
-- anything that is as far away from reality as is
creatively possible. This is why, to a degree, sci-fi
literature has always been successful. Cinema was simply
the fortunate beneficiary of all the gifted sci-fi
literature spanning a century and a half.
Is there any end in
sight to the success of sci-fi?
If they ever bring back the western and that takes off
again, science fiction will be given a run for its money.
But I don't see that happening in the foreseeable future.