Concept Art From Brad Bird's The Spirit Adaptation That Never Happened

We all remember Frank Miller's adaptation of Will Eisner's The Spirit, or maybe we're trying to forget it. That wasn't the first time Hollywood attempted to bring the comic book classic to the big screen. One of the previous attempts was to turn the story into an animated movie, with a young director named Brad Bird creating a fake pitch trailer to try to sell the feature. This was of course before Bird went on to direct The Iron Giant, The Incredibles or Ratatouille. He was a young filmmaker just out of Cal Arts.

Find out the Brad Bird The Spirit adaptation story, see some concept art and even read a letter Bird supposedly wrote to pitch the project to Steven Spielberg. has a great article about Brad Bird's The Spirit attempt, but unfortunately its in Italian. Here is a short excerpt translated via google translate:

The movie that was a test Leiva visiono animated masked by trailer. It was in black and white, pencil, and introduced briefly the origins of the hero at the same time setting the tone of the film. "Not only that, it also contained the best animations of human beings that I have ever seen. The human characters Eisner were not at all hard, had a great personality and fluid form. And caught in the middle of the test aspects, reproducing them to perfection. " ... Behind the fake trailer was Brad Bird, the future director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Tomorrowland . ... Bird chose The Spirit because he was a regular reader of the comic. ... Bird had produced that test over five months, during spare time, together with a group of entertainers classmates at Cal Arts, and now under the Disney, as Glean Kean and Jerry Rees. Bird even wrote a letter to Spielberg calling himself "a professional industry that has never taken part in anything that you consider 'professional' '.

Fumettologica even has a supposed scan of the letter Bird wrote to Steven Spielberg, alongside some concept art from the project. You can see some of that below:


Brad Bird The Spirit Concept Art

The black and white piece above is a still from the animated pitch trailer directed by Brad Bird, while the other color pieces are concept art for the project created by Jerry Rees and the pen sketch character design was by Brad Bird himself. Again has a ton of more information on the failed project, so head there to read more.