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“I tried to paint over my insecurity”: Steven Spielberg Had No Confidence in His $300 Million Movie’s Script That Starred Robin Williams

"I tried to paint over my insecurity": Steven Spielberg Had No Confidence in His $300 Million Movie's Script That Starred Robin Williams

There are very few Hollywood directors upholding the ability to match Steven Spielberg’s prowess and legacy as a filmmaker. Speilberg’s rich cinematic resume has covered movies across genres making him one of Hollywood’s most notable directors of all time.

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg

But his legendary career also has some films that he himself is not fairly fond of. The director admitted that he regretted making his 1991 fantasy adventure Hook starring Rain Man star Dustin Hoffman and actor/comedian Robin Williams. 

Also read: “I was wrong. It changed”: Steven Spielberg Admits He Was Wrong About Tom Cruise’s Sci-fi Movie That Could Have Been More Dark

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Why Steven Spielberg Regretted Making Hook?

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg

Despite starring Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, Robin Williams as Peter Pan, and Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell, Hook did not live up to the expectations of Steven Spielberg. On top of it, the movie was also a critical disaster. 

The director said that he always wanted to make a Peter Pan film and he landed on directing the film after a screenwriter painted a fresh twist to the popular character’s mythology. “It just got to me,” Spielberg said.

However, the twist was not enough, the director further added that he had no faith in the script, saying “I felt like a fish out of water making Hook.” 

“I didn’t have confidence in the script. I had confidence in the first act and I had confidence in the epilogue. I didn’t have confidence in the body of it.”

Well, Speilberg tried a few things to make it work, which include making the film set bigger, but the gap of the shortcomings did not compensate for that either. “I didn’t quite know what I was doing and I tried to paint over my insecurity with production value,” he said.

Spielberg further told Empire that he had a very low opinion of the movie. At the same time, he said that he would rewatch the film hoping to change his opinion on the film.

“I want to see Hook again,” he said. “I still don’t like that movie. I’m hoping some day I’ll see it again and perhaps like some of it.”

The movie, however, did fairly well at the box office, grossing over $300 million against a budget of $70 million. 

Also read: Steven Spielberg Made Matt Damon and Tom Hanks Go Through Hellish Bootcamp for Saving Private Ryan to Make Them Respect Real Soldiers

Steven Spielberg’s Kids Were Fans Of Hook

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg

Unlike their father, the Spielberg kids had a different opinion of Hook. It was surprising for the director that his kids ranked the film among his top movies. Spielberg once told Parade,

“My kids haven’t seen my recent movies yet but if you want to talk about the old movies, the two they loved the most were E.T. and Hook.”

The director also said that the opinion of his kids about the movie was not out of respect for their father.

“I understand why they like E.T.—it gives them something to believe in. It’s a modern-day fairytale. I can’t quite figure out why they still love Hook. I usually screen my movies for them at my house, and I don’t have to ask them what they think. They tell me right to my face. My kids may be polite, but they’re not shy.”

Like his 1982 sci-fi classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Spielberg wanted to make Hook a family film. Of course, most of Hook’s characters were already popular as they had enjoyed a few early adaptations and these characters are not dark, but rather family-friendly fairy tale amusement.

“I looked way back and said, ‘When was the last time I made a film that everybody could go see?’ The grandparents. The little kids. The mom and dad. Teenagers.”

He further added,

“And I guess the last time that happened for me, in terms of at least a film that was successful, was E.T.. I‘m not saying this is in comparison to E.T. at all, in any case, but just that I hadn’t made a family film for like 10 years.”

Despite Spielberg’s insecurities, the movie was liked by his kids, and apparently, millions of fans worldwide, as the box office number suggests its worth and fandom.

Also read: “You can blame it on Steven Spielberg”: Shia LaBeouf Feared He Tarnished Harrison Ford’s Hard Earned $1.9 Billion Franchise

Source: Showbiz CheatSheet

Written by Lachit Roy

Lachit Roy is a science and entertainment news writer with a postgraduate degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Tezpur University. He has covered various science articles on and is very enthusiastic about writing entertainment news and trends. Being a movie buff, he is keen on possessing knowledge of the world of cinema and is very fond of bringing the news of the entertainment world to the global fandom. When not writing, he would spend most of his time watching movies or series, sometimes gardening but mostly acquiring knowledge of the beats of his interest.