See Pencil Test Trailer for Brad Bird's Lost 'The Spirit' Animated Movie

April 27, 2015

The Spirit

Back in 2008, there was a live-action feature film adaptation of Will Eisner's celebrated comic The Spirit. Graphic novel writer Frank Miller directed the film in the same style as the big screen adaptation of Sin City, but the film was an absolute mess, and it has been panned by critics and fans alike. But did you know that we almost got a completely different adaptation of The Spirit in the 1980s? Space Jam animation producer Steven Paul Leiva just posted a pencil test trailer for what would have been an animated adaptation of The Spirit from director Brad Bird and Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz, and it looks awesome. Watch!

Here's the pencil test trailer for Brad Bird's The Spirit from Moviepilot:

The Spirit

Leiva spoke of this project back in 2008 when The Spirit was headed to theaters, and at the time he mentioned this pencil test. But the VHS with the actual footage was deep in storage. But now he's found it, and it seems he's been given permission to upload, it because here we are checking it out. Bird and several of his classmates from Cal Arts, most of whom were emplyed by Disney, made the pencil test, and it looks like we missed out on something very cool, and there's some style here that would later go into The Incredilbes. This was way before Bird even went on to direct The Iron Giant, and this may have launched Bird's career much earlier. But we'll never know. Maybe now that enough time has gone by, and if there's enough interest, we could see this film happen? Brad Bird is pretty busy, so it's probably not in the cards.

Find more posts: Animation, To Watch



Got dang Brad Bird is the man. Id also love to hear him talk about his apparent love for retro-styled sci-fi/action a la The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, and now with Tomorrowland. Its apparent in this video too.

jay on Apr 27, 2015


Personally I think the style is a bit too cartoony for the subject matter, but dang if it wouldn't still be cool had this actually come to fruition. Now if Brad Bird could just reboot John Carter the same way as this test....in the style of Frank Franzetta....

RAW_D on Apr 27, 2015


Cool! 1980? Wow...Bird has had IT since the beginning.

DAVIDPD on Apr 27, 2015

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