Hey remember that long, long list of movies Steven Spielberg was supposed to be doing? Over the past few months he’s been rumored to be involved in literally everything from Indiana Jones 5 to a Martin Luther biopic. Throw it all out the window. He’s not doing any of it. He’s doing a World War I epic instead.

Variety says he’s set to direct War Horse, a movie based on a Michael Morpurgo novel about the friendship between a boy and a horse separated during the Great War. Their fates continue to be intertwined as the trench war across Europe rages on. It’s kind of like “The Black Stallion” but with guns and severed limbs.

So maybe you were looking forward to one of those other Spielberg projects, but there’s a lot to get excited about here. This is, after all, the guy who made the definitive World War II movie in Saving Private Ryan and, though I think we’ve covered that war and most of the others in the past couple of hundred years pretty adequately, no one has really done the definitive World War I movie. It’s so often overshadowed by the fight to take down Hitler a few decades later that it’s rarely examined as anything other than a series of air battles against the Red Baron. Spielberg has an obvious affinity for this kind of historically based material, War Horse could be something special.

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