Spielberg Credits Kubrick for A.I.

TOKYO (Reuters) — Film director Steven Spielberg took off his hat to Stanley Kubrick today, describing his new movie, A.I., as a collaboration with the late legendary director.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo via satellite, Spielberg gave few hints about the film, which has been shrouded in secrecy, stressing his debt to Kubrick.

He had "worked hard to achieve a cinematic collaboration by bringing a vision of Stanley Kubrick's to the screen," Spielberg said.

The filmmaker rarely speaks to the media, and organizers said it was the first time in 19 years he had given a news conference to reporters in Japan — the world's second-biggest movie market.

A.I., to be released simultaneously in Japan and the United States June 30, was an idea conceived by Kubrick more than 20 years ago and picked up by Spielberg after Kubrick died in 1999.

"I would speculate that Stanley would have made and told much the same story I told because I based my screenplay on a 90-page treatment [concept] Stanley had prepared from all of his own ideas," the 53-year-old filmmaker said when asked what he thought Kubrick would have done differently.

Kubrick made classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange during his career. "If Mr. Kubrick were alive today, I'd be sending him a fax about how much I loved the movie he just directed called A.I. and that I felt lucky to be in the audience experiencing his movie," Spielberg said.

Throughout the movie's production, the set was closed. About the only thing moviegoers know about the Warner Brothers/DreamWorks production is that Haley Joel Osment portrays a young robot who longs to be human.

Spielberg sounded a note of caution on humanity's technological progress as he spoke about a film whose intrigue has already prompted thousands of cybersurfers to take part in a game inspired by the movie.

"On one hand, we are making tremendous leaps forward in science, medicine, and technology, but at the same time, it is possible that technology could sometimes be the masters of the humans that created it," Spielberg said.

"We have to be very careful what we dream about and what we create because we are so powerful in our creating, and we should be very careful not to attempt to compete with God all the time," Spielberg said.

But the maker of blockbusters such as E.T. and Saving Private Ryan said he felt good would win in the end — as it does in most of his Hollywood films.

"Based on the films I've made and the films that you know I've made, I believe in my heart we do more good than evil. And that we will ultimately succeed and the goodness will win over the evil," Spielberg said.

Spielberg was in Virginia, where he is shooting his next film, Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise.

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