It has been a long running passion project of “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and “Incredibles 2” director Brad Bird, and this week the filmmaker says he still very much hopes to eventually make his proposed live-action film adaptation of James Dalessandro’s novel “1906”.
Bird, who has been planning the project for at least a decade, tells Variety podcast Playback (via Collider) that he doesn’t just want to make a disaster film but rather deal with a huge, sprawling story about San Francisco in the early 1900s:
“It wants to be a longer story. It’s a really fascinating moment in history. Prior to the earthquake, San Francisco is this really happening city that’s somewhere between the Old West and the 20th Century. I mean, they still had bars where people were getting Shanghai’d – getting slipped Mickey Finns and you would wake up on a boat and if you didn’t work the boat, you’d be thrown overboard.
So that was still happening and the people who owned those kinds of bars were in the California legislature. In other words, it was somewhere between the Wild West and the sophisticated city San Francisco would like to see itself as, and was in many ways.”
Bird says the ambitiousness of the project has caused issues – the story too big for a film, but just on TV might lose the scope of the big screen:
“It’s this fascinating moment in history where gaslight and electric light were co-existing, and cars and horses were co-existing. Getting it in a movie-sized box, it’s too big a story for. If you do it for TV you’re missing the scale of motion pictures, so I keep trying to get it to kind of straddle these two worlds.
I love the movie experience and I would want the earthquake to be on a movie screen and yet I recognize that the story’s too [big], so I’m kind of trying to get it done as an amalgam and people are kind of intrigued by it. Warners wants to do the earthquake part of it as a movie, and we just can’t get it all under one roof. But I’m still fascinated by the story.
I’m still interested in it but I want it to be done in a way that embraces all the possibilities and yet somehow stays near or part of it or something on the big screen, so we’ll see what happens.”
Bird’s “Incredibles 2” is now playing in cinemas everywhere.