Steven Spielberg Swears Off One Of His Most Successful Genres

While Steven Speilberg is one of the best directors of our generation, he was sworn off one of his most succesful genres.

By Douglas Helm | Published

steven spielberg

Steven Spielberg finally directed a musical in 2021 with the amazing West Side Story, but it looks like that’s all fans are going to get from him. At the Producers Guild Awards breakfast, the acclaimed director announced that he would not be making any more musicals in the future. While this is certainly disappointing to hear for Spielberg and musical fans alike, at least he gave us a pretty good adaptation before throwing in the musical towel.

Though Steven Spielberg didn’t get a box office smash with West Side Story, he is getting plenty of warm reception for the movie. As is typical with a Spielberg film, it’s nominated for several Oscars this year, including Best Director for the man himself. In addition to the Best Director nod, the film is also up for the coveted Best Picture, Best Production Design, Best Sound, Best Costume Design, Best Cinematography, and Best Supporting Actress for Ariana Debose. So while audiences may not have come out in droves for the film, the Academy is certainly recognizing its merits.

west side story

It’s unclear why Steven Spielberg is giving up on musicals, as he didn’t really explain his reasoning when he made his announcement. It could be that he just wanted to do one musical and that was it, or maybe he’s disappointed with the commercial success. Either way, it doesn’t seem like a position he’s going to change anytime soon.

If you’re wanting a Steven Spielberg musical to enjoy, it looks like West Side Story is going to be your go-to. Fortunately, it’s a good one. West Side Story is a retelling of the classic tale of two street gangs fighting over a rapidly gentrifying New York and the two star-crossed lovers wrapped up in it. Spielberg’s West Side Story features Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as Tony and Maria. The cast is rounded out by Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Rita Moreno, Brian d’Arcy James, Corey Stoll, and many more. Even though the box office numbers weren’t that impressive, the reviews for the movie are off the charts. On Rotten Tomatoes, it currently holds a 92% from critics and a 94% from audiences. It’s clear that critics and audiences alike agree that Spielberg knows how to put a musical on the screen.

Although Steven Spielberg and a classic like West Side Story seem like guaranteed box-office gold, there are probably a lot of factors that contributed to the movie’s disappointing financial performance. The biggest reason, of course, is likely the pandemic. People don’t want to go to the movies as often and they’re picky about which ones they do go to. And audiences were probably picking Spider-Man: No Way Home. Unfortunately for Spielberg, one of the now highest-grossing movies of all time just happened to release around the same time as his musical. The combination of these two factors is definitely a recipe that can lead to lower ticket sales. Perhaps if Steven Spielberg is able to take home a wagon of Oscar gold, he may change his mind about his avoidance of musicals. Until then, we’ll just have to wait and see what he comes up with next.