Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is Brad Bird‘s first live-action movie. Think about that for a second. In the film community he’s easily one of the most exciting and respected directors out there but he’s never released a movie with a flesh and blood person in it. It’s fairly mind-boggling. Then you watch The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille and realize the characters in those are way more human than humans are in most movies.

The fact of the matter is Brad Bird was simply born to tell entertaining, exciting stories and he’s finally doing it with humans with Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, which opened last week in IMAX and opens everywhere else today. Tom Cruise returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt whose team, including Simon Pegg, Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner, are disavowed and must fight to save the world.

In October, /Film spoke to Bird at a Beverly Hills hotel about his first foray into live action, shooting for IMAX, its early release, the then-rumor of The Dark Knight Rises prologue being in front of his movie and the latest on his long discussed disaster film 1906. Read the interview after the jump. Read More »

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Brad Bird Still Working on ’1906′

It’s been four years since we first heard that Incredibles director Brad Bird was set to make his live-action debut with 1906, based on James Dalessandro‘s novel about the historic San Francisco earthquake. Since then, however, progress on the film has been slow-going, to say the least. A year ago, it was rumored that the project was all but dead. Bird selected another project, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, to be his first live-action feature, and we all accepted that 1906 would likely never happen.

Now a new interview with Bird has revealed that 1906 might not be as dead as we thought it was — but it’ll probably still be a long time before we get to see it. Read more after the jump.

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What Happened to Brad Bird’s 1906?

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News that Brad Bird might direct his first live-action film started to bubble up three years ago. The movie is 1906, an account of the San Francisco earthquake as recounted in James Dalessandro’s novel of the same name. It’s been quite some time since we heard anything at all about the film. Last update from Bird, director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, was that he was still working on the script, possibly trying to scale it down from $200m status after suits at Warner Bros. balked at the Titanic-style scale of the film.

It’s been a year since we heard anything at all, and now there are distressing rumors that the film may never happen at all. Read More »

Brad Bird’s 1906 Earthquake is Getting Smaller?

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.

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Brad Bird Updates 1906

Brad Bird

We haven’t heard much lately about Brad Bird‘s live-action debut, a big screen adaptation of James Dalessandro‘s novel 1906.  Our friends at LatinoReview caught up with Bird at the premiere of Coraline, and was able to get an update.

“We’re looking at places to shoot it. The script I’m still working. it’s a really hard script to write. And mostly because there are so many interesting things going on in that place and that particular period of time that anytime you’re going towards something, you’re going away from 5 other cool things. So it’s been really hard for me to write. but I think it’s going to great. and we’ll see IF they have the courage to make.”

Bird admitted that he already has actors interested in the project, but wouldn’t reveal names.

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Pixar Will Not Become a Special Effects Studio

When it was announced that Brad Bird would be directing a live action adaptation of 1906, a co-production of Pixar and Warner Bros, many assumed that the Emeryville animation studio would be providing the visual effects. Well now Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull told attendees of the SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference that Pixar will not be entering the special effects business.

“We’ve got two projects coming where there’s a live action element. But our view is not that we’re trying to diversify; it’s more that we’ve got a creative vision to try something different, and we want to support that vision,” Catmull said. “Whether or not it goes beyond that we don’t know, but we don’t want to turn Pixar into a live action studio. In fact, the intent is that the special effects will not be done at Pixar… We are not trying to become a special effects company.”

Catmull’s comments are the first public admission from senior Pixar staff that Andrew Stanton‘s John Carter of Mars will involve “live action elements”. But am I the only person completely confused? I’ve heard that Pixar has already been hard at work creating a computer scale model of a 1906 San Francisco. If that isn’t going to be used as part of the visual effects for Bird’s upcoming film, than what exactly is Pixar’s role in the project. Anyone at Pixar care to elaborate or clear this up?

source: AWN

Pixar Goes To the Pompeii Ruins

Pompeii Ruins

After posting the Future of Pixar update, I received a lot of emails from people asking “What happened to Brad Bird‘s 1906?” or “What about the long rumored John Carter of Mars adaptation?” Well there are a couple answers, but the best one to lead with is that the Disney/Pixar press conference focused only on their future animated film releases. Anyways, 1906 is in pre-production, and Campania’s new regional heritage councilor, Claudio Velardi, let word slip in a archeology article in Newsweek that Pixar and Warner Bros. are interested in using the ruins of Pompeii for a future movie set. Roman Polanski’s Pompeii shot in Spain due to the ruins “astronomical” rental fee. So it’s not set in stone that Pixar will pay the large fee to shoot in the ruins of Pompeii.

Now here is where things get interesting… My friend Mike at The Pixar Blog point out that 1906‘s retelling of the story of the great San Francisco earthquake, might not require shooting on the ruins. Pompeii is not even mentioned once in James Dalessandroonce’s book. But Velardi, while never mentioning the film’s title, does mention Warner Bros/Pixar, two studios that have teamed up to produce Bird’s adaptation of 1906. So either Bird has scripted a new scene for 1906 set in Pompeii, or maybe it’s an entirely different project completely…

Could Warner Bros also be teaming up with Pixar yet again for the long rumored adaptation of John Carter of Mars?

Update: Brad Bird’s 1906

1906

/Film Reader PixarSpy sent over an interesting update on Brad Bird‘s live action feature debut adaptation of James Dalessandro‘s 1906. As you may already know, the film follows a young man who discovers a series of secrets and lies that left San Francisco highly vulnerable to the fires that engulfed the city in the aftermath of the historical 1906 earthquake.

My spy tells me that Pixar is busy building scale models and rumor has it they are re-creating San Francisco in computer imaging, based on original photos taken from 1906. I’m hearing that it will look extremely authentic. Right now the studio is unofficially aiming for a Winter 2009 release.

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