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The teasing has begun.
There are not nearly enough Brad Bird films in the world. I just went and counted, and it's still way less than 1000, a situation I find completely unacceptable. As long as I've been writing about movies online, I've been writing about Brad Bird movies. I would still call the coverage I did on "The Iron Giant" some of the best stuff I've ever published, and it's been a real pleasure catching up with him on "The Incredibles," "Ratatouille," and "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol." In addition to have a remarkable story sense and a great knack for comic timing, Bird just plain loves movies, and that love informs pretty much every scene of everything he's ever made as a director.
Knowing there is a new Brad Bird film in development has me anxious enough. I want to know everything, but I don't want to know anything. I would love to see the whole thing right this second, but I'm terrified that I'll ruin it for myself as I cover it between now and whenever it finally comes out. For the most part, Bird's been playing mum, and even as people have been clamoring for him as one of the best possible director choices Disney could make regarding the new "Star Wars" movies, he's been hard at work on "1952," a film that Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen are currently writing for Bird to direct.
I like that combination. I have a lot of problems with "Prometheus," but everything I've heard about the production of that film would lead me to believe that most of my problems originated with Ridley Scott, and that Lindelof was there to execute Ridley's ideas. Like many screenwriters, Lindelof only looks good if the director looks good, and the director only looks good if they have a strong script to direct. Lindelof and Bird and Jensen have been working on this one for a while, and I'm excited to see what results from the collaboration. Now that George Clooney's attached to star, that's one more big brain in the mix, and I really hope they come up with something great.
That's where the teasing comes in. See, there's a backstory to the film, and today Bird dropped a big piece of that backstory on Twitter as a single photo. The story is this: Damon Lindelof found a box at Disney, and when he opened it, the contents of the box were so fascinating that he spun a story out of it, and that story is what he and Bird have been working to prepare as a film. I don't think a word of that is true, but I think it's a great way to kick off the premise of a film. If you're curious to see what sort of clues might exist, take a look at the photo below:
I see Walt Disney, I see an old reel of Technicolor film, I see envelopes and a record and little files full of stuff and what might be pieces of a camera. And sure enough, right there on the front of the box, it just says "1952."
We're a long way from this one hitting theaters, but I love that they're starting to play the game now. Bird must be feeling pretty confident that he's making this one if he's starting to Tweet about it. I look forward to figuring out the mystery at some point in the future, and for now, tell me… are you interested yet?
"1952" is set for release during the Christmas season of 2014.