The story that Brad Bird would make the leap to live action with 1906 is nothing new; we’ve known for some time that Bird and Pixar’s first foray into films with real people would center around the San Francisco earthquake of ’06.
But I did a double-take when reading the Hollywood Reporter’s news that Warner Brothers would be co-producing the effort with Disney and Pixar. Yes, the studio that failed in every conceivable way when the time came to actually get Bird’s feature The Iron Giant in front of audiences will be responsible (in part) for Bird’s next. That’s the way the town works, though, and it’s not as if he and WB are sworn enemies. And when you want to make a film that’s a big in scope as this one might be, you’ve got to go where the money is.
Bird is rewriting John Logan’s script, which is about “a college student who begins to investigate the murder of his father, uncovering a web of deceit that has left the city vulnerable to the sort of fire that breaks out when the Great Earthquake of 1906 hits San Francisco.” I read that line synopsis and feel no interest at all, but then I remember I felt the same thing about Ratatouille, a movie I’ve since watched many times. I believe the magic will work again.