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The next big WWII film might be in 3D. Bruce C. McKenna, producer and writer for The Pacific, this week sold a pitch to Warner Bros. for a big-budget 3D film called The Battle of Midway, which (shock!) intends to recreate the decisive air and sea battle that took place June 4-6, 1942.

Deadline says the pitch was bought late last week and is being fast-tracked, with McKenna set to deliver a script two months from now. Budget estimation puts The Battle of Midway at $200m right now — so this is potentially a gigantic movie. Expect appropriate casting news to come down at the end of the year if this really goes forward. (No word if McKenna is directing, or limited to writing and/or producing.)

The Battle of Midway was the first major turning point in the war against Imperial Japan. The Japanese Navy attacked the Midway Atoll, intending to repel US forces from the Pacific theater. But US codebreakers learned of Japan’s planned attack, allowing the navy to set up a counter-ambush. In the battle that ensued, four Japanese aircraft carriers and one heavy cruiser were sunk. The Japanese navy never fully recovered from the losses, and while it took some time for the American Navy to dominate the Pacific, this was the first major US victory against Japan.

I love the idea of a large-scale film depicting this battle, especially from one of the key orchestrators of The Pacific. (McKenna wrote the balance of that series.) But a massive 3D film? That adds a lot of extra uncertainty. Look at photos of the battle — this could become a hell of a spectacle with respect to depicting air and naval battles on film. But if the 3D work is lousy, the whole effort is sunk.

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