A WWII ace fighter pilot focused comic book movie is a perfect fit for the director.
Warner Bros., which co-produced Ready Player One, must be happy about their relationship with Steven Spielberg. The studio just announced they will once again team up with Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment to adapt the DC Comics title “Blackhawk.”
The announcement suggest that Spielberg might also direct, but you never know how that will shake out, especially since he’s slated to do Indiana Jones 5 and the West Side Story remake next. He’s a busy man.
The property is an older one. The comic series started in 1941, created by Chuck Cuidera, Bob Powell, and Will Eisner. Basically, the Blackhawks were a team of pilots who operated from a hidden base and fought against tyranny of all stripes.
Now, it just so happens that we might have already gotten a small bit of Blackhawks on the big screen. There’s been speculation that some of the characters from Wonder Woman were actually potential members of that organization. Said Taghmaoui, who played Sameer, even tweeted this out last year:
Wonder Woman is a World War I film. The Blackhawks are a World War II team. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility for some good old fashioned DCEU world building to let some of those characters evolve into their own properties. I mean, that’s the idea of creating an extended universe, right?
Wonder Woman was a big winner for Warner Bros. It makes a ton of sense that they would want to expand their classic war film footing with something like the Blackhawks. But, what brings Spielberg to the table?
The project is clearly a fit for him. World War II. Action. Adventure. Good Guys versus Bad Guys. All his favorite elements are there. WWII ace pilot throwback? That’s pure Spielberg Home Run Territory. Granted, he wouldn’t have called this kind of flick a comic book movie. But, maybe that’s exactly what the DCEU needs.
His passion will inject something personal into the universe that it doesn’t quite have. He’s got a connection with that type of film. Back in 1952, there was a film serial adaptation of the Blackhawk property that certainly could have caught his eye. After all, serials were a major inspiration for Indiana Jones.
I’m not saying the other DCEU projects lacked personal passion for the subject matter. But nobody brings to the table what Spielberg does for epic war or adventure films. Art and entertainment aside, the guy prints money with his films. His filmography recently crossed the $10 billion box office threshold. No one else even comes close.
Wonder Woman succeeded by bringing a much needed touch of joy to the DCEU. The film is serious, and Diana’s journey is intense. But, it’s peppered with moments of wonder and joy and heart. Her story has heart. Spielberg’s cinematic voice typically brings heart, even in his darkest pieces.
Weirdly, this isn’t the first time Spielberg has been interested in the property. Back in the ’80s, there was speculation that the director would take on the property with maybe Dan Aykroyd (?!) playing Blackhawk, the leader of the team. Can you imagine if Spielberg got into that property in the middle of his insanely successful two decades of mostly mega-hit productions? I’m not sure about that Dan Aykroyd casting, though.
So, maybe Toby Emmerich, Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman, wooed Spielberg’s involvement by helping this past thread come to fruition. Regardless, there’s a noteworthy amount of common ground between the superhero pictures of today and the creative output of an Oscar-winning director.
Maybe this is all part of a new blood initiative. Yesterday, Warner Bros. also announced Cathy Yan would direct a new Harley Quinn story starring Margot Robbie. They’ve got so many potential projects in the works. It’ll be interesting to see what other fresh perspectives they inject into their extended universe stories.