Date: 7th January 2001
Oscar-winning film director and producer STEVEN SPIELBERG has been accused of "squashing" a film set in Northern Ireland that mocks the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
The 54-year-old SCHINDLER'S LIST director, who was given an honorary knighthood in the New Year(01) honours, invested millions of dollars in the politically charged comedy AN EVERLASTING PIECE, starring Scottish comedian BILLY CONNOLLY and the former BROOKSIDE actress ANNA FRIEL.
But when Spielberg's DREAM WORKS partner JEFFREY KATZENBERG saw the finished product he told the film's director, Oscar-winning BARRY LEVINSON, to cut the politics out of the film or else "he would screw him over", according to the film's producer JEROME O'CONNOR. O'Connor complains, "It may sound ridiculous to associate this change with Spielberg getting a knighthood, but what else can a man think?" (TM/WNSTI/KW)