Brad Bird's Latest '1906' Project Update and Why It's Taking So Long
I feel like this a project we've been following for years, but without much progress. That said, Brad Bird's adaptation of 1906, about the San Francisco earthquake of that year, is one of those projects I'm constantly asked about. While we've got Brad Bird's first live-action spectacle Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol in theaters this weekend, we're also hoping he'll one day get back to making 1906 - it sounds like he's still planning to do that. MTV Rough Cut recently posted an interview segment with Brad Bird talking 1906, getting a solid current update and some details on why it's such a challenging project to actually get made.
In our last post earlier this April on Brad Bird and 1906, he didn't seem so optimistic, saying, "I don't know. It's all about getting the story to work." But now he seems to be a lot more confident that it will one day happen, as he added a firm "but I'm still working on that idea" at the end of one of his answers to MTV this time. "That's what I was working when I suddenly looked up and a couple of years had gone by. And I went, I don't want to just keep thinking about a film, I want to make one, but I'm still working on that idea."
So what's holding them back? As he's mentioned time and time again, it's always about making sure the story is perfect. "It's a miniseries that you want to get into a movie-sized box," which is a statement he's reiterated for a while, referring to adapting James Dalessandro's novel of the same name. "It's all script. The internet is not a very reliable place for information... There have been reports that it was budget [see here]. But it never got that far," Bird told MTV. "It wasn't like we licked the story problems and people looked at it and went, 'That's too expensive.' It's a very challenging story to get together and it has to be done carefully." Indeed. And I'm fine letting him continue to take it slowly, making sure it's done exactly right.
Bird goes on to explain why it's a challenge, essentially summing up why I'm interested in seeing this. "It's trying to get personal stories in a large event that's historically based. But, a lot of what is interesting about that project is not necessarily the earthquake and fire -- it's all the stuff that was happening right before that happened. It's an amazingly, particularly unique moment in that specific place, at that specific time." That sounds like it would be a fantastic disaster drama, which is why we're all so anxious to see this get made, hopefully one day soon. Maybe if Ghost Protocol does well, it'll give him the extra boost he needs to make an ambitious project like this. We'll continue to keep an eye on 1906's development in the meantime.