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Marvel's Avengers vs. Star Wars' Mandalorian vs. Steven Spielberg as the famed director returns with a mystery UFO 'event' movie in May 2026

The movie will see him reunite with Jurassic Park and War of the Worlds collaborator David Koepp

Steven Spielberg on the set of The Fablemans
Image credit: Amblin Entertainment

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Steven Spielberg is preparing to retake his crown as the king of the summer box office, and rumor has it that he’s turning back to a favorite topic to make sure that it happens: extra-terrestrials.

No, Spielberg isn’t making a sequel to 1982’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, but he is working on a new movie with writer David Koepp for release in May 2026, which is said to be a UFO movie based on an original idea from Spielberg himself.

All Universal Pictures, which is releasing the feature on May 15, 2026, will say is that it’s a “new original event film” — which suggests that it’s intended to be a pretty big deal, judging by the use of the term “event.”

Spielberg has quite a history with UFO and alien stories, with each marking a significant point in his career to date: Close Encounter of the Third Kind was arguably his first special effects blockbuster project back in 1977, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in 1982 marked a breakthrough into all-ages crowdpleasers, and 2005’s War of the Worlds a return to big budget event movies after a number of years on smaller projects.

What will this new event movie predict for Spielberg? That’s difficult to predict — especially as Spielberg’s contemporaries and collaborators have started talking about retirement. Could this be the director’s final movie? And if so… should we assume that this UFO movie might be his final statement on genre filmmaking as a whole?

It's worth noting that the May 2026 date is already pretty crowded one for big genre events; both Marvel's fifth Avengers movie and Lucasfilm's The Mandalorian and Grogu are scheduled for that month. Could Spielberg's dark horse break through against the big franchises and win the box office nonetheless? We have a couple of years before we find out.

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