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Bruce C. McKenna Sells His 3D 'Battle of Midway' Pitch to WB

by
August 28, 2010
Source: Deadline

The Battle of Midway

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?

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  • Xerxex
    3-D is a disgrace to the Vets of WW2 both alive and dead.
  • nelson
    3D should be only used for Sci Fi imo
  • Al
    ugh.
  • Shawn
    First off if they want to do a proper follow up to Pearl Harbor they should really look at the Doolittle Raid that happened in April of 1942. Those who are not history buffs, The Doolittle Raid was an attack by B-25 Mitchell Bombers that took off from aircraft carriers and bombed Japan. As for the idea of a 3D War movie. Well I hope it becomes this decades biggest movie flop. Keep 3D to sci-fi and horror and leave real story telling alone.
  • Xerxex
    I like you're thinking Shawn, however 3-D does not belong in any form of cinema.
  • I'm all for an epic war movie but c'mon! In 3D? That's an insult to a historical event.
  • Tester
    #1 was the only comment needed to this story Pearl Harbor was a damn disgrace... And they now want to add 3D
  • Rashad
    A lot of bitchy people here. Did Inglourious Basterds disrespect and trivialize the vets? How about Captain America? Grow up already. Filmmakers aren't looking at 3D like a gimmick anymore. I look forward to this.
  • Al
    #8 "Filmmakers aren't looking at 3D like a gimmick anymore" Thats the problem. Basterds wore its quirkyness on its sleeve, it wasn't historically accurate and never pretended to be. Doing something that is ground in history however, and having it in 3D.....disgrace.
  • The real problem for any movie is to write a good screenplay that tells a STORY that people care about - and not try to gimmic the 3D as an end to itself as a way around a bad story. As mentioned above, the Battle of Midway started long before June 4, 1942. The allied naval and land losses in the South Pacific, the subs sailing out of Midway after refueling hurting the Japanese shipping fleet, the Doolitte Raid that prompted the Japanese to move up their plans to get rid of the outpost, the code breaking done at Pearl and Washington DC etc. Most importantly, you have to make the movie about the people involved - from the carrier plane deckhand, pilots, turret gunners (both sides) and let people watching the movie care if they live or die - and not let them know till the movie ends if they do or not.
  • Rashad
    "Doing something that is ground in history however, and having it in 3D…..disgrace." You still haven't given a reason. You're just anti-3d. You know that there have been dramas in 3d long before? They can work if done properly, and the visuals would be great if shot natively. Mckenna is doing the script so I don't worry whether or not it will "do justice" to whatever he wants. He will.
  • jebstuart
    the doolittle raid was already filmed in the latter part of pearl harbor
  • beavis
    there has been a movie made on this subject. "midway" was an exceptional movie and showed the humanity of both the american and japanese combatants. the cast of that mid 70's movie (Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford and hal holbrook) was as good as it gets. after the disaster that was "pearl harbor", from a few years back - i'm not hopeful that this movie will be any better. hollywood seems more interested in turning subject matter like this into 3D and special effects laden CRAP only in the hopes of turning a dollar. a subject like the midway battle deserves better.

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