It's interesting that when people started listing A-list filmmakers they'd want to see tackle the next "Star Wars" film, Brad Bird's name came up more than almost any other. I've had faith in Bird's abilities as a storyteller for years, and as soon as I saw a rough cut of "Iron Giant," I was ready to declare the guy a national treasure. It wasn't until he made the jump to live-action filmmaking with "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' that he was suddenly at the top of every fanboy's wish list for pretty much every genre film in development.
I'm excited to see him develop original material, though, because I think he's got a strong voice and he's got a deeply-rooted love of genre. He's exactly the sort of guy we should be supporting in the creation of new properties instead of just dumping the familiar on him over and over. Sure, he'd make a great "Star Wars" movie, but I'd rather see whatever "1952" is from him instead.
What we know so far is that the script is by Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen, who you may know as a pop culture columnist from "Entertainment Weekly." It has long been theorized that the film might have something to do with the Washington D.C. UFO sightings from 1952 (see video below), which inspired all sorts of film and TV projects including "Earth Versus The Flying Saucers," and Variety's report today once again suggests that the film is about alien invaders. If the casting they discussed today works out, though, we can expect to see George Clooney in the mix, and that makes this even more interesting.
After all, Clooney doesn't do a ton of big genre movies. He has seemed very happy to star in and direct movies that are more adult in nature, less genre or blockbuster oriented. This could be a great way for him to make a big piece of pop entertainment that is also substantial. I like the fact that this is still pretty much an unknown quantity, that we really have no idea what it is.
It sounds like they're getting ready to get this one started in earnest, and we'll have more for you as it comes together.
A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education ( via hitfix.com ).