Brad Bird

Brad Bird has officially signed on to make his live-action feature directorial debut in a co-production between Warner Bros and Disney/Pixar. Based on James Dalessandro‘s 2005 novel 1906, Bird is rewriting the original script penned by John Logan. The assumption is that Pixar will be providing the computer generated effects. Here is the official plot description from the book’s cover:

Set during the great San Francisco earthquake and fire, this page-turning historical novel reveals recently uncovered facts that forever change our understanding of what really happened. Narrated by a feisty young reporter, Annalisa Passarelli, the novel paints a vivid picture of the Post-Victorian city, from the mansions of Nob Hill to the underbelly of the Barbary Coast to the arrival of tenor Enrico Caruso and the Metropolitan Opera. Central to the story is the ongoing battle fought even as the city burns that pits incompetent and unscrupulous politicians against a coalition of honest police officers, newspaper editors, citizens, and a lone federal prosecutor. James Dalessandro weaves unforgettable characters and actual events into a compelling epic.

Bird is a two-time Academy Award winning director of animated films: 2004′s The Incredibles and 2007′s Ratatouille. He was also responsible for the unsuccessful but critically acclaimed 1999 film The Iron Giant.

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Brad Bird Returns to 1906

Brad Bird talks 1906

After winning the Academy Award for best animated feature Ratatouille/The Incredibles director Brad Bird talked to The Hollywood Reporter about his next film, his first foray into live action, an adaptation of James Dalessandro‘s 1906, about the San Francisco Earthquake:

“At the time, Chinatown was coexisting with the Barbary Coast, which was like the Wild Wild West, and at the same time Nob Hill had the upper class. It was a time between two centuries. You had horses and cars existing simultaneously. It’s just a volatile mix of things and then you throw in an earthquake. I mean, come on, if that doesn’t buy popcorn …”

Rumor has it that Bird will direct 1906 either as the first film at new live-action division of Pixar or possibly part of a collboration between Pixar and a live action production comapny (possibly Disney owned), where Pixar would be handling the majority of the computer generated imagery. No timetable has been leaked, but Bird had been working on 1906 for a couple years before he got sidetraked with Rataouille.

Brad Bird talks 1906

Brad Bird talks 1906

It has been well known that The Incredibles director Brad Bird’s next film is likely to be an adaptation of 1906. Based on the novel by James Dalessandro, which is a fictionalized account of the famous 1906 Earthquake in San Francisco. Bird, while promoting Ratatouille in the UK, spoke with Rotten Tomatoes about his future. And while he doesn’t mention 1906 by name, you can be sure that’s what he’s talking about.

“I was starting to work on a live action film a couple of years before I came on board Ratatouille so I’m going to return to that and I’m quite excited by that idea. I don’t want to tell you too much about just yet, I’m not really ready for that, but it’s a historical-based thing and I think it’s going to be pretty wild.”

Bird told The Daily Bulletin earlier this year:

“The company [Pixar] is evolving into a place where all kinds of movies, not just animated ones, can come out,” said Bird, who reveled that his next Pixar film will be live action.

Book Description: Every disaster has a backstory, none more thrilling than this one. Set during the great San Francisco earthquake and fire, this page-turning tale of political corruption, vendettas, romance, rescue-and murder-is based on recently uncovered facts that forever change our understanding of what really happened. Told by a feisty young reporter, Annalisa Passarelli, the novel paints a vivid picture of the Victorian-era city, from the mansions of Nob Hill to the underbelly of the Barbary Coast to the arrival of tenor Enrico Caruso and the Metropolitan Opera. Central to the story is the ongoing battle-fought even as the city burns-that pits incompetent and unscrupulous politicians against a coalition of honest police officers, newspaper editors, citizens, and a lone federal prosecutor. With the appeal and texture of The Alienist, Carter Beats the Devil, and the novels of E. L. Doctrow, James Dalessandro weaves unforgettable characters and actual events into a compelling epic.

Brad Bird to Direct a Live Action Film (1906?)

Brad Bird

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