Note to Martin Scorsese: Don’t make a movie this year either!

Spielberg Eyeing Fresh Double-Date with Oscar
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – The next Oscar season could carry a distinct whiff of deja vu. Just as he did in 1993, director Steven Spielberg will have two films that could well be in the running.
This week the whirling dervish of a director is expected to complete principal photography, shooting in Southern California locations, on “War of the Worlds,” his adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel about a Martian invasion, that stars Tom Cruise.
The movie, a Paramount Pictures/DreamWorks co-production, will be released by Paramount on June 29 with every expectation that it will dominate the summer’s Fourth of July weekend.
By then, Spielberg will be filming in Europe, working on a project about the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics, where Arab terrorists massacred 11 Israeli athletes. Although the film does not yet have a title, it has a release date — Universal Pictures, which is co-producing with DreamWorks, has scheduled its bow for Dec. 23.
Back in 1993, Spielberg accomplished the same one-two punch — releasing both a big summer entertainment and a serious end-of-the-year drama — when “Jurassic Park” opened June 11 and “Schindler’s List” arrived Dec. 15.
Between them, the two movies ensured the director an Academy Awards juggernaut. “Jurassic,” whose computer-animated dinosaurs broke new visual effects ground at the time, was nominated in three categories — visual effects and the two sound categories — and won all three. “Schindler’s List” was nominated in 12 categories and took home seven awards, including best picture and best director.
If Spielberg manages to release two movies, as promised this year, and if they meet with similar acclaim, he will have overcome even larger challenges than he met in 1993.
For history isn’t repeating itself exactly. “Jurassic” began shooting early in the fall 1992, completing principal photography that December, which allowed for about six months of postproduction. “War of the Worlds” is facing less than four months of post. Acknowledges Spielberg’s spokesman Marvin Levy, “This is probably the tightest film (schedulewise), in terms of really big effects, that Steven has ever done.”
On the other hand, the overlap between “War” and the Munich project does not appear as onerous as that of “Jurassic” and “Schindler.” In that case, Spielberg shot “Schindler” by day, and looked at edits, special effects and score on “Jurassic” by night. This time around, the director should be finished working on “War” before he begins shooting the Munich project in early summer. Notes Levy, “Steven will have finished one movie and so will be able to go into the other.”
Of course, it also remains to be seen if the Munich project ultimately impresses the Academy as much as “Schindler” did. Few details on the picture, to which Eric Bana (“The Hulk”) is attached, have been released. But with “Angels in America” playwright Tony Kushner doing a rewrite on the project, it promises to have the requisite moral seriousness.
And if there is one other omen that bodes well for the possibility of another Spielberg double-header it is that the Academy already has demonstrated its interest in movies about the 1972 Munich Olympics.
In 2001, Arthur Cohn and Kevin Macdonald’s documentary account of those events, “One Day in September,” was the surprise winner of the best documentary Oscar. And that at least sets up the possibility that next year, Spielberg could once again be fielding multiple Oscar nominations for two very different movies.