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Steven Spielberg spent a couple of years in the wilderness after Lincoln, though it seems as if he's back on the road to productivity. He's launching into an untitled Cold War thriller with Tom Hanks next, followed by an adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG. Most people thought one of these projects would just fade away, but it looks like the old Steven Spielberg is back, ready to bang these out as quick as possible according to recently announced release dates.

Steven Spielberg's Untitled Cold War Thriller now has a release date of October 16th, 2015, and The BFG will soon follow with a July 1st, 2016 date. In the Cold War film, Tom Hanks will play James Donovan, an attorney who attempted to negotiate the release of Gary Powers, a POW who crashed over Russia and was held hostage by the Russian government in 1960. Hanks and Spielberg are clearly BFFs, having previously worked together on titles like Saving Private Ryan and Catch Me If You Can, so it's not a surprise to see them reunite again (though Hanks hasn't been onscreen for the director since The Terminal ten years ago).

This October 16th release date means that Spielberg's film will hit theaters solidly at the start of the 2016 Oscar race. Also set to come out that weekend is Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak, and it will be out one week before The Conjuring 2. This is a Disney release, so the studio could always push it forward to November or December, or maybe even open on the 16th in limited release and expand further over the next few months. October's very crowded, with The Jungle Book also hitting a week before, so there's plenty of time to adjust the schedule, because despite Spielberg and Hanks and a writing credit to the Coen brothers, this sounds a little dry for October.

It's believed Spielberg will segue from the Cold War thriller to The BFG, more of an audience-friendly blockbuster. Spielberg is reportedly returning to his roots with writer Melissa Mathison, who wrote E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, and as such he's getting a plumb release date over the Fourth of July weekend. This pits the film against the Angry Birds movie, which is best left seeking its own new perch away from summer, as it's hard to imagine that brand will remain relevant two years from now. It also looks like it's matching up with Independence Day 2, which remains in development, as well as David Yates' Tarzan. The schedule is getting pretty heavy, and that's before acknowledging that the week after, Marvel is releasing an untitled film that some believe may be Doctor Strange. The last Spielberg's children's film was The Adventures Of Tintin, and that generated only mixed responses. Does he still have the same appeal to families and kids?

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