Bruce C. McKenna Sells His 3D 'Battle of Midway' Pitch to WB
On the eve of the Emmys, where writer/producer Bruce C. McKenna is expected to win an award for his work on HBO's The Pacific, Deadline reveals that McKenna's new WWII pitch has been preemptively bought by Warner Bros. Apparently titled just The Battle of Midway, his pitch is a 3D WWII epic that focuses on the Battle of Midway in June of 1942 that was considered a major turning point of World War II. So it's an unofficial sequel to Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor from 2001? Sounds like it. The project is being fast-tracked, McKenna is finishing the script in 8 weeks, and the budget might end up being around $200 million total.
We already know Warner Bros is anxious to find some huge tentpole movies to replace Harry Potter in the coming years and maybe this is them exploring the war route. We already know Universal has Peter Berg's Battleship in the works, a remotely similar concept. The Battle of Midway took place about six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The US Navy decisively defeated an Japanese Navy attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese. Four Japanese aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser were sunk in exchange for one American aircraft carrier and a destroyer. The Japanese navy was never able to recover.
Of course, we've seen the Battle of Midway on screen before (hence where that poster above comes from). John Ford directed The Battle of Midway in 1942 using actual battle footage shot by the Navy. Later, Jack Smight directed Midway in 1976, the more dramatic version of the battle starring Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn and Hal Holbrook. It's certainly an "exciting" battle to make a movie about, but after Pearl Harbor, I'm just not sure if that will work as a tentpole blockbuster anyway. Then again, if they could get back to something like Saving Private Ryan, that's how I could see this turning out great. Thoughts?