John Wayne staring into the distance.
Movies - TV
John Wayne Tried To Stop Steven Spielberg’s 1941 From Ever Being Filmed
In the ‘70s, Steven Spielberg had just come off the box-office success of “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” when he decided to make “1941.”
Spielberg secured the services of “SNL” superstars John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd for the war comedy and wanted to cast John Wayne as Major General Joseph W. Stilwell.
Given Stilwell was a real-life WWII hero, he thought Wayne would want in on the fun but soon found out he wanted nothing to do with the movie.
Spielberg told EW about Wayne’s response, recalling, “He called me the next day and said he felt it was a very un-American movie, and I shouldn't waste my time making it.”
“He said, ‘You know, that was an important war, and you're making fun of a war that cost thousands of lives at Pearl Harbor. Don't joke about World War II,’” Spielberg added.