Last week Brad Bird revealed that he was still trying to crack the screenplay for his live-action debut 1906, which seemed baffling to us. In March 2008, our spies told us that Pixar was busy building virtual scale models of a period-era San Francisco and that Warner Bros had put a hold on all of the soundstages that were available on its Burbank lot. So what happened? How did the project get delayed? And what are the script issues exactly? Jim Hill claims that the economy and budget cuts have been sucking the life out of Bird’s big screen epic.
Apparently the recession hit and the three studios involved started to grow worried that the $200 million projected budget which would be required to film Bird’s expansive story might be too much of a risk. This is when Warner Bros quietly released that hold it had on all its Burbank soundstages and then supposedly asked Brad to rework his screenplay. And since then, Bird has been trying to bring the film’s budget down by minimalizing the scale of the film, according to the report. It always seemed clear to me that Bird was out to make a Titanic-like historical epic. In interviews he would talk about the scale, mentioning all the different areas of the city that would need to be shown in the story.
So when Bird says that “It’s (been) a really hard script to write”, I think he’s talking about the comprimises that he’s being foreced to make. And I think the end of the interview he did with Latino Review was very telling. Bird commented” We’ll see if they have the courage to make it.” And that’s a good question… will they?