Steven Spielberg feared Covid was an ‘extinction-level’ event and was inspired to make The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg feared Covid was an ‘extinction-level’ event that inspired him to do The Fabelmans if it were his last film: ‘I was scared’

Steven Spielberg shared that his fears about the Covid-19 pandemic inspired him to direct his latest film, The Fabelmans, based on his life.

“I was afraid that this was an end of days and an epic level event, I mean an extinction level event that happened to the world,” said the legendary film director, 76, who received a Golden Globe for Best Director for the film last week – revealed in a new interview with the Daily Star.

He said his fear pushed him to decide which film he really had to make if it was his last: “If I had a chance to make another film, it would be this story.”

Important to him: Steven Spielberg shared that his fears about the Covid-19 pandemic inspired him to direct his latest film, The Fabelmans, based on his life; Pictured 2022

Important to him: Steven Spielberg shared that his fears about the Covid-19 pandemic inspired him to direct his latest film, The Fabelmans, based on his life; Pictured 2022

The Jaws director said: “By the time I seriously debated writing this, we had lost 250,000 Americans to Covid.”

The filmmaker explained that he told his family if it ‘One thing to leave behind was this movie.

Spielberg added that like the rest of the world he is fixated on monitoring various news outlets and following the course of the pandemic.

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“Frightened”: “I was scared that this was an end times event and an epic level event, I mean an extinction level event that was happening to the world,” Spielberg, 76, said in an interview with the Daily Star

“All the pundits that came out and the White House denial that this wasn’t so bad, it was like a passing flu epidemic,” he recalled.

“I really thought we weren’t going in a good direction and that wasn’t going to end well for a lot of us. And that got me thinking about telling a story that’s been floating around in my head. I’ve thought about it all my life,’ he said.

The Fabelmans is a semi-autobiographical film. It details the dissolution of the marriage of Mitzi (Michelle Williams) and Burt Fabelman (Paul Dano) as seen through the eyes of Spielberg’s replacement, played by Gabriel LaBelle.

One last film: He said his anxiety made him decide which film to make if it was his last:

One last film: He said his anxiety made him decide which film to make if it was his last: “If I had a chance to make one more film, it would be this story”; Gabriel LaBelle pictured in a still from The Fabelmans

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“All my life I’ve thought about it”: “I really thought we weren’t going in a good direction and it wasn’t going to end well for a lot of us. And that just got me thinking about telling a story that’s been floating around in my head,” he shared. Pictured on the set of The Fabelmans

Spielberg’s alter ego in the film is Sammy Fabelman (played by LaBelle as a teenager).

Sammy is the firstborn and only son of Burt and Mitzi, who are themselves lightly disguised versions of Spielberg’s own parents: Arnold Spielberg and his wife Leah.

The film begins with Sammy being taken to the pictures by his parents for the first time. This dramatizes a real moment in Spielberg’s childhood: one that sparked his lifelong obsession with film.

Spielberg won the Golden Globe for Best Director – his ninth overall – for the film at the 80th Annual Golden Globes last week.

Alter Ego: Spielberg's alter ego in the film is Sammy Fabelman (played by LaBelle as a teenager)

Alter Ego: Spielberg’s alter ego in the film is Sammy Fabelman (played by LaBelle as a teenager)

Semi-Autobiographical: The Fabelmans is a semi-autobiographical film. It describes the dissolution of the marriage of Mitzi (Michelle Williams) and Burt Fabelman (Paul Dano); Still from The Fabelmans

Semi-Autobiographical: The Fabelmans is a semi-autobiographical film. It describes the dissolution of the marriage of Mitzi (Michelle Williams) and Burt Fabelman (Paul Dano); Still from The Fabelmans

He triumphed over James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water), Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Baz Luhrmann (Elvis) and Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin).

The Fabelmans also won the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama.

The film, which premiered on November 11, 2022, grossed just $16.4 million on a budget of $40 million.

Winner! Spielberg won the Golden Globe for Best Director - his ninth overall - for the film at the 80th Annual Golden Globes last week

Winner! Spielberg won the Golden Globe for Best Director – his ninth overall – for the film at the 80th Annual Golden Globes last week

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Greg Norman

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