Disney Taps Brad Bird to Direct Damon Lindelof’s ’1952′ Script for Tentpole Film

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 23rd, 2013 at 9:31 am,

Whether or not you were frustrated by the conclusion of Lost, or underwhelmed by last year’s Cowboys and Aliens, writer/producer Damon Lindelof is quickly becoming a go-to guy in Hollywood – especially in the sci-fi genre. In addition to his contributions on both the mega-successful Star Trek reboot as well as the film’s highly-anticipated sequel, Lindelof’s writing is responsible for the mysterious (and ambitious) approach in Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe, Prometheus – one of 2012′s most anticipated films.

That said, Lindelof isn’t just in the business of rebooting or revisiting other people’s films – as the writer recently signed a seven-year deal with Disney to pen an entirely new sci-fi film, tentatively titled 1952. Now, we’re getting word that the Mouse House has tapped Brad Bird, hot off the mega-success of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, to direct Lindelof’s 1952 script (which was co-written with senior Entertainment Weekly writer, Jeff Jensen).

According to a Deadline report, Brad Bird is officially on-board 1952, with production set to start in 2013 (after a significant pre-production lead-in), though next-to-nothing is known about the film beyond the project’s current name – which may or may not even be the final title (and shouldn’t be confused with Bird’s entirely unrelated upcoming project 1906).

The addition of Bird to the film backs-up prior speculation that Disney is investing heavily in 1952, positioning the project as a major tentpole release for the studio – especially after a number of expensive profile projects that failed to ignite the box office (we’re looking at you John Carter and Tron: Legacy). Of course, don’t feel too bad for Disney – considering Marvel Studios’ (owned by the Mouse House) The Avengers has already made over $280 million oversees and hasn’t even opened in the U.S. yet.

That said, the Brad Bird/Damon Lindelof combo could prove to be pretty valuable for Disney – especially considering the studio isn’t relying on an established IP this round and will, most likely, market 1952 as an imaginative new sci-fi experience (an angle that served Avatar and Inception, among other films well).

tron legacy sequel production 2014 Disney Taps Brad Bird to Direct Damon Lindelofs 1952 Script for Tentpole Film

Additionally, an all-new (potential) franchise won’t be held-d0wn by attempting to translate a beloved narrative to the modern big screen – while also retrofitting the storyline for a Disney-approved demographic (read: PG). Arguably, when it comes to storylines, both Tron: Legacy and John Carter suffered under the weight of attempting to encapsulate previously established rules and characters – while also providing a modern movie adventure (instead of a 1982 film or 1917 novel, respectively). The result was a pair of enjoyable but drawn-out (and mostly brainless) pieces of eye candy that, despite making loads of money, underperformed (relative to the studio’s hopes).

Bird has an unblemished critical feature track record (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) – with a penchant for balancing some enjoyable humor with memorable character moments and explosive action (where appropriate). Lindelof, as mentioned, is a bit of a mixed bag – though it’d be unfair to pin the failure of Cowboys and Aliens (as well as all the Lost frustrations) on the writer/producer alone.

Expect to be hearing a lot more about 1952 as the film gears-up for pre-production.


Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on 1952 as well as other movie, TV, and gaming news.

1952 does not yet have a release date but we’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: 1952
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  1. Sounds like a good mix — he’s a terrific writer with an incredibly creative mind.

    And Brad Bird is yet to make a bad film.

    Here’s hoping for another hit.

    • Ditto.

  2. I heard 1952 is going to be a trilogy with a story based around a tear in space time and a central figure in human history possibly relating to alien technology for bonersex.

  3. Lindelof is not the “main writer” for Prometheus. He wrote the shooting script. Spaihts is the main writer…he’s just not an attention whore like Lindelof.

    • No one said “only” writer but, in plenty of interviews we’ve covered on the site, Scott has credited Lindelof as being the reason for the director’s major shift away from the ‘Alien’ prequel idea (represented by Spaihts draft). It’s nothing against Spaihts or what he brought to the project but, as it is now, Lindelof and Scott have significantly changed-up the focus and refashioned the prequel foundation into something entirely new.

      That said, I’ve updated the article to mitigate any further confusion over the use of the word “main.”

  4. It’s a good combo so count me in.

  5. No skin off Lindoff’s back, but I am more interested in seeing the words “Written AND Directed by” in front of a Brad Bird film again.

  6. The mans (L) track record is not very impressive when he is behind a type writer.

    As for producer well when you consider there is always so many producers listed you may as well say he probably doesn’t handle that very well either.

    If someone needs their laundry picked up he should be the “go to guy”.

  7. 1952 – the start of Project Blue Book.