Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Harrison Ford Plane Crash Irony: Spielberg Announces New Movie Simultaneously, Written by Star’s Ex Wife


The timing could not be stranger. At the same moment that Harrison Ford crashed his plane near Santa Monica Airport, a press release of unusual coincidence was issued.

Steven Spielberg, Ford’s friend, director and close ally in the movie business, announced he was making a new movie written by Melissa Mathison. Spielberg and Mathison last worked together 32 years ago, on the classic “ET: The Extra Terrestrial.”

At the time, Ford and Mathison were engaged; they married in 1983. Ford makes a cameo in “ET” as Elliot’s teacher, although we never see his face.

Ford and Mathison later divorced, with Mathison receiving a reported $90 million. Eight years later, Ford married actress Calista Flockhart.

But a weird juxtaposition. Spielberg and Mathison never collaborated again after “ET.” Today was the first time their names have been linked in three decades. The new movie is called “BFG” and it’s based on a book by Roald Dahl. The funding comes from Walden Media, owned by Philip Anschutz, a well known conservative compared to Spielberg’s liberal leanings.

Meantime, everyone sends prayers for a speedy recovery to Ford, who is still getting over a broken leg he suffered while shooting the new “Star Wars” movie.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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