- BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Director Steven Spielberg says he contemplated retirement after completing his 1993 Holocaust film “Schindler’s List,” according to a new profile by The Hollywood Reporter.
Though the film won seven Oscars in 1994 – including best picture and best director – and cemented his legendary status, Spielberg reportedly lost interest in filmmaking because of the emotionally draining nature of the film. He had no desire to get back in the game.
“I just didn’t,” Spielberg said, explaining his four-year hiatus after the release of the film. “I could not.”
In response to a question about whether working on “Schindler’s List” sent him into a depression, Spielberg initially said yes and then backtracked.
“I’ve never been depressed,” he said. “I was sad and isolated, and as well-received and successful as that movie was, I think it was the trauma of telling the story and forming the Shoah Foundation.”
In the years after the film’s release, according to THR, Spielberg spent his time “sending videographers to interview Holocaust survivors,” but he began to lose interest in feature films.
“I started to wonder, was ‘Schindler’s List’ going to be the last film I would direct?” Spielberg recalled.
But in 1997, Spielberg said, the prospect of directing a sequel to one of his most commercially successful films “seized [him] one day like a thunderbolt,” and he returned to the movie industry with the release of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.”
“I just needed time,” Spielberg said.