Now that Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol has earned half a billion dollars worldwide, I think people can stop worrying whether director Brad Bird can successfully make the transition to live-action films. (Now it’s Andrew Stanton’s turn at bat…) The man who brought us The Incredibles and The Iron Giant has proven his directorial chops yet again, made a ridiculously successful movie, and can probably now write his own ticket for his next project to some degree…but what will that project be? Word is he might just be making a historical, sea-faring monster movie. Move over, Pirates of the Caribbean.
The news comes from Vulture, who report that Bird is meeting to discuss taking over Here There Be Monsters, which was written by Brian Helgeland (Robin Hood, L.A. Confidential). The movie originated as an idea from Thomas Tull, chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures. Monsters centers around real-life 18th century British naval officer John Paul Jones. (He’s the one responsible for the legendary comeback, “I have not yet begun to fight!”) The story would have Jones hired to solve the disappearance of several merchant ships in the Atlantic. The culprit: sea monsters, naturally!
The project was dealt a blow late last year when director Robert Zemeckis bailed on it to do other things, so Bird’s interest is definitely exciting. With Pirates of the Caribbean offering diminishing returns (in quality, if not box office), we need a new source of sea-faring daring-do, and a Bird-directed sea-monster movie would fit the bill very nicely. And, all due respect to Zemeckis, but I’d much rather see Brad Bird’s version.
Top image from “Captain John Paul Jones” by N.C. Wyeth