So, if you’re a glass-half-full type of person, one of your first thoughts when you saw the “Disney buys Lucasfilm” news was “Holy s–t! Pixar Star Wars movie!” followed shortly by “Hoooly s–t, Brad Bird Star Wars movie!”
Brad Bird is of course the former Simpsons animator and Iron Giant director, who went on to make stuff like The Incredibles and Ratatouille at Pixar, before going live action with the shockingly great Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Bird’s next project is 1952, a mystery, possibly science-fictiony thing he’s working on with Hollywood blockbuster generating robot Damon Lindelof.
Very little is known about the project, and since the Lucas news broke, speculation has run amok that 1952 is actually code for Star Wars: Episode VII. Fans have even come up with a timeline that makes it all seem fairly plausible…
May, 2011: Bob Iger and George Lucas begin discussing the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney.
June, 2011: Damon Lindelof hired by Disney (for a 7 figure deal) to write a huge sci-fi epic for the studio. The project is named 1952, and nothing else is known about it.
August, 2011: Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are told by George Lucas at a Star Wars convention that the sequel trilogy is coming.
May, 2012: Brad Bird is hired to direct the Lindelof 1952 project, and brings on Jeff Jensen, author of Eisner Award-winning graphic novel Green River Killer to further develop the script, which is intended to become a huge tentpole film, with all the merchandising, toy selling and sequel opportunities such a prospect provides.
June, 2012: Kathleen Kennedy is named co-chair of Lucasfilm, a move that surprised quite a few people in Hollywood as they didn’t know why she’d vacate her position as a prime Hollywood mover/shaker to join a studio that was essentially, shapeless and aimless.
October, 2012: Disney and Lucasfilm close the deal, and immediately announce Star Wars, Episode VII for release in 2015, with Lucas as a “creative consultant” and Kennedy as the President of Lucasfilm. Kennedy specifically notes that they’ve been talking to “a couple of writers” and they know where they want to go for the seventh movie.
Hmmmm! Of course people with “connections” to those “in the know” say this is all bunk. 1952’s a real movie and has nothing to do with Episode VII! Which, of course, is exactly what someone trying to hide a secret Star Wars movie would say.
Personally, I think 1952 probably is/was a real movie, but hey, now that Disney has Star Wars, who the f–k needs 1952? I wouldn’t call Brad Bird out of the running for the Star Wars job just yet. Also, either way Damon Lindelof is going to write the thing, because he writes everything.