There are a handful of big-name directors that I’d love to see take a shot at directing a comic book film. Quentin Tarantino. Edgar Wright. James Cameron. But at the top of the list would have to be Steven Spielberg. And with Blackhawk, we might actually see that happening.
Deadline is reporting that Spielberg has signed on to produce a Blackhawk film for Warner Brothers, home to his current hit, Ready Player One. They also state he has an eye on directing the film as well. He will be working from a script by his frequent collaborator David Koepp and will produce the with Kristie Macosko Kreiger with Sue Kroll executive producing.
Blackhawk was created in 1941 by Chuck Cuidera with input from both Bob Powell and Will Eisner, and first appeared in Military Comics #1. The concept underwent four district incarnations over the decades.
The first and most prevalent incarnation was as a rogue, multinational fighter squadron that battled the Axis Powers during World War II. During the 1960s, the status quo was briefly changed to a superhero/secret agent mashup that lasted only four issues before reverting back to the original concept. That concept was given an update in the 1980s by creator Howard Chaykin who made the team more adult, gritty and, strangely, politically correct (Chop-Chop, originally a buck-toothed Asian stereotype who served as the team’s cook/comic relief became a more realistic, full-fledged member of the team). The final version of the team was featured in DC Comics’ “New 52” reboot, where the concept was dramatically changed into more of a G.I. Joe-like paramilitary team. That series only lasted eight issues before being cancelled.
This isn’t the first time Spielberg’s name has been mentioned in conjunction with the property. In the 80s, he inquired if the rights were available. The only thing to come out of it was DC Comics restarting the then-dormant Blackhawk comic book series. But if we are to guess what era Spielberg would be looking to adapt, it would be the first, Nazi-fighting incarnation.
This will not be the first time the Blackhawks made it to the big screen. It was made into a 15-episode serial in 1952 when the concept was at its original owner, Quality Comics (DC Comics bought the Quality characters in 1956).
We are going to have to wait a bit for the film. Spielberg has Indiana Jones 5 and a remake of West Side Story on his schedule before he can even begin production on Blackhawk. No word yet as whether or not the film will be part of the DCEU, but the team was hinted at in Wonder Woman.