Damon Lindelof On Working With Brad Bird On 1952; Hopes To Start Production Next Year
Lindelof reveals how he got Brad Bird (The Incredibles) to co-write and direct Disney's mysterious sci-fi film 1952, and also comments on the movie's potential start date and how close it is to a greenlight.
Speaking with Collider, Star Trek Into Darkness co-writer Damon Lindelof discusses his upcoming sci-fi project 1952, which will be directed by Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Last we heard on the project, George Clooney was in talks to star. Little is known about the storyline, but is said to center on the journey of a middle-aged man and his contact with alien life. Lindelof doesn't comment on Clooney's involvement here, but he does go into detail concerning Bird's involvement and how the director came on board. "The writing of Trek was happening around the same time as the post production on Ghost Protocol, so we were both in that a Bad Robot space at lot at that time and kind of became buds. I told him about this thing that I was working on over here at Disney. We were eating sushi, just one of those like, “So, what are you working on?” “Brad what are you doing after you wrap up on Ghost Protocol?” “Damon what are you doing after Trek?” And so I started talking about this thing and I could just see his eyes light up a little bit and I’m now totally willing to blow up this budding friendship because if I don’t take a shot at him now I’ll be kicking myself forever. Which is to say, “Hey, if you would ever want to be involved in this thing in any way, shape or form, just call yourself an executive producer and I’ll give you a parking spot and you don’t even need to do anything on it. That would be a dream come true.
"Then we just started exchanging emails and talking about it and then this guy Jeff Jensen, who’s a friend of mine, he and I really worked on the – when you finally hear about what this thing is I’ll be able to be much more explicit about what it is. Anytime something interesting happened in the development process I would just let Bird know, “Hey we had this cool idea today.” In the spirit of letting him know that I wasn’t letting him off the hook. And then the next thing I knew I was asking him if he would direct it and he said yes. He and I have now been co-writing the movie for the last four months, and that’s been an incredible experience because anytime you write with a partner that you haven’t written with before they call bullshit on all your tricks that you have come to rely on and feel comfortable with, and then you learn from them in terms of how to think and how to evolve."
Concerning the creative freedom Disney gave them, Lindelof had nothing but good things to say about the studio. "We’ve been given a tremendous amount of creative licensee by Disney, which is kind of surprising just because they’re Disney and they have a specific, corporate brand to maintain," he said. "But it’s been really wonderful working with them. Obviously Brad had Disney in his veins, even though he was fired back in his days as an animator, it’s good to be back in the old animation building knocking a story around."
When asked if a start date is set, Lindelof said that "I think that we hope to be in production mid-2013." Finally, he confirmed that 1952 has yet to be greenlit, and that the cast and budget have to be locked down in order to officially announce it. "We have to lock down some key casting elements and we have to make sure that the movie isn’t going to cost them (Disney) an arm and a leg. I have confidence that we’ll be able to accomplish both those things and hopefully when we do we’ll be able to announce what this movie is."
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