The 3 Hardest Films Steven Spielberg Ever Made

Ready player one parzival

Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is off and running at the box office, and it looks like things are off to a nice start. The story of Wade Watts (X-Men's Tye Sheridan in the movie) fighting to save the OASIS has experienced a long journey to the screen since the debut of Ernest Cline's book in 2011, and it sounds like the adaptation of the novel was one of Spielberg's most challenging filmmaking endeavors to date, right alongside his work on Jaws and Saving Private Ryan. In a recent interview, Cline explained that he spoke to Steven Spielberg about the movies he has made while working together on Ready Player One. It was during this time that Spielberg revealed the movies it has been the hardest for him to make. According to Cline,

He's said that it's the third hardest film he's made, out of dozens and dozens of movies. He said Jaws will always be the worst. Saving Private Ryan was just brutal 'cause he was recreating D-Day, day by day. And with this, it was like making two different movies at once -- making a completely CGI movie, which ILM did all the special effects for, and then making this movie in the real world, and having them be parallel and cut back and forth. That was why it was astounding to me that he stopped, while we were doing post-production, and went off and made The Post. He was like, 'Oh, that was so much easier. There were no special effects. I was just working with actors and setting up shots. That was a cake walk, compared to Ready Player One.'

Right off the bat, it's hardly surprising to learn that Steven Spielberg looks back on Jaws as a hard experience, per what Ernest Cline revealed to Collider. The film's production has become one of the most infamous of all time due to the sheer number of technical issues that it faced in its attempts to tell a simple story about a trio of men fighting a ravenous shark. Nevertheless, the film turned Steven Spielberg into a legend for his ability to craft horror out of necessity (the shark rarely appears on-screen because the animatronic shark never worked during production), and the result is a creature feature with some of the most iconic moments in film history. Check out the film's most iconic line, below.

Then there's Saving Private Ryan, a war classic that arguably continues to represent the benchmark for modern depictions of WWII. Specifically, the process of painstakingly creating the D-Day invasion of Normandy turned into a "brutal" experience -- though it eventually paid off in the form of one of the greatest war movies ever made.

With Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg stepped into an entirely new type of challenge. Many of the film's OASIS scenes were actually shot using real-life VR technology (a relatively groundbreaking cinematic move), and that shift to a burgeoning tech created its own set of unique challenges for Spielberg because of the need to balance the OASIS storyline with the Columbus storyline. By the time the director went off to do The Post, according to Ernest Cline's remarks, the process of making a straightforward political drama felt like "a cake walk."

Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is now in theaters, so check it out to see the final product of the legendary director's hard work. If you are looking for more information about the film, then make sure to check out our in-depth review, as well as our review roundup, to see what critics are saying about it.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.