When it was announced that Brad Bird would be directing Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the question everyone was asking was, “Can Bird make a successful transition from directing animated movies to directing live action epics?” When Ghost Protocol was finally released, Bird answered all of our questions with a resounding, “Of course I can you idiots, I’m Brad F’n Bird. What can’t I do?” Now that Deadline Celebration has broke the news that Bird’s live action followup to Ghost Protocol is going to be a movie called 1952, there’s a different question on everyone’s lips. That question being, “What the heck is 1952?”
The short answer is that Bird and his collaborators aren’t telling. The long answer is that 1952 is a big project that Disney has had in the works for a while now. While it’s known that Disney intends for it to become one of the tentpole type features that’s designed not just to sell theater tickets, but also to push merchandise, inspire theme park rides, launch Internet startups, and who knows what else, nothing is yet known about its premise. The only bit of information out there is that Lost producer Damon Lindelof was hired last year to come on as producer and write the script, the contents of which are supposed to be a closely guarded secret around the House of Mouse. And, as Lost fans can attest, Lindelof is a man who’s very familiar with secrets.
Is there any speculation we can do as to the subject matter this one is going to tackle? Clearly 1952 looks like a reference to a year at first glance, and when you think of the year 1952, three things immediately come to mind: the funeral for King George, the announcement that Britain has the atomic bomb, and the launch of “Mad Magazine.” Could we have a movie about radical fundamentalists masterminding the fall of an empire, acquiring a nuclear armament, and subverting modern culture through a magazine that publishes poisonous untruths on our hands? Probably not, that wouldn’t make for a very good roller coaster. But production on the film is scheduled to start sometime next year, so maybe we’ll get a few more clues then.