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Tony Kushner and Steven Speilberg Team Up on Film

Two of the most respected and influential men from the worlds of theatre and cinema--Tony Kushner and Steven Speilberg--will join forces on an upcoming film, according to The New York Times.

Kushner has written the screenplay for Speilberg's untitled film, which is currently filming in Malta and concerns the "secret Mossad hit squad ordered to assassinate Palestinian terrorists after the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich." The provocative political film was originally written by Eric Roth, of Forrest Gump fame. However, Kushner went from script doctor to full-fledged screenwriter when Speilberg felt that the film was too precedural a thriller in the hands of Roth. The film stars Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Geoffrey Rush, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler and Ciaran Hinds, and is slated for a December release date, with scenes also to be shot in Budapest and New York.

"Viewing Israel's response to Munich through the eyes of the men who were sent to avenge that tragedy adds a human dimension to a horrific episode that we usually think about only in political or military terms..I think we can learn something important about the tragic standoff we find ourselves in today," stated Speilberg, whose latest film is a blockbuster adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise. Known for melding humanism with epic scope, Speilberg's other films (as a director) include The Terminal, Minority Report, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, the Indiana Jones franchise, The Color Purple, E.T., and Jaws. He is the winner of 2 Oscars as Best Director, and has been nominated for 4 more.

Kushner's plays are known for their thematic audacity, politically-charged subject matter and mastery of language. He won a Pulitzer Prize and two Tony Awards for his sprawling 2-play masterpiece Angels in America. A 2003 HBO miniseries adapted from the plays was directed by Mike Nichols and swept the Emmys that year, winning 11 awards. The New York Theatre Workshop production of Kushner's Homebody/Kabul garnered a 2002 Obie for Playwriting, and other works include A Bright Room Called Day and Slavs. His controversial new play-in-progress, Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall be Unhappy, is a politically-minded piece centered around First Lady Laura Bush; it was given a benefit reading in August of 2004. His adaptation of Brecht's Mother Courage will receive a 2006 production at the Delacorte Theatre that will star Meryl Streep.

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