Spielberg faced firing as Jaws director

Spielberg reveals the threat of the sack hung over the set of the 1975 shark disaster movie, especially when costs escalated after the director chose to film at sea, rather than in a water tank, but the Universal Studios executive insisted his young visionary should be allowed to complete the movie, which is now a classic.

He tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, “(The producers) didn’t warn me to threaten me or intimidate me – they just said, ‘Is there anything you can do with the script, with the schedule, to avert a shutdown?’ and I didn’t have anything to do, because I couldn’t cut the third act out of Jaws. I had to keep moving forward, and the schedule was dictated by the mechanical shark and by the weather conditions.

“Every time there was an intention to replace me, Sid stepped in quietly behind the scenes and stopped it.”