12 Movies That Were Almost Directed By Steven Spielberg

For all the greats he's made, he's passed up on plenty more.

In this May 25, 2013 file photo, jury president, director Steven Spielberg, arrives for the screening of the film Venus in Fur at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France. Spielbergs next two films have been slated for October 2015
Joel Ryan/AP

The news just broke that Michael Bay may have found his latest film project. Naturally, this attracted roughly the same amount of cheers on one side from the hyperkinetic director's admirers, and snark on the other side from his ever-more vocal detractors.

However, the news that Bay may be set to direct the big screen adaptation of Daniel H Wilson's science fiction novel Robopocalypse is kind of a big deal - as, not so long ago (2012, in fact), it was poised to be a Steven Spielberg movie.

For a time, Spielberg's Robopocalypse looked good to go. Drew Goddard was writing the screenplay, Chris Hemsworth and Anne Hathaway were all set to star - but, apparently over budget concerns, the plug was pulled, and Spielberg wound up scratching his contemporary SF novel adaptation itch with the upcoming Ready Player One.

Of course, this is hardly the first time Spielberg has worked on a project only to wind up passing it on to someone else. Filmmakers don't wind up with a body of work like his (34 features and counting) without letting a few go along the way.

Here are just some of the major movies which, in some alternate timeline, were directed by Steven Spielberg.

Note: we're only counting films which ultimately got made, as opposed to those which Spielberg developed but which never materialised (such as Night Skies, or the notoriously unpleasant-sounding ET sequel).


Ben Bussey hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.