Steven Spielberg's Comic Book Movie 'Blackhawk': Here's What You Need to Know

Steven Spielberg's Comic Book Movie 'Blackhawk': Here's What You Need to Know

Apr 18, 2018

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One has already earned more than $476 million at the box office worldwide. Naturally, many wondered about Spielberg's plans for the future, including a fifth installment of the Indiana Jones series and a big-screen version of the Broadway musical West Side Story.

Now we've heard that the filmmaker is adding another project to his development slate: Blackhawk, based on a popular comic book series that was first published during the 1940s. Spielberg will be producing with an eye toward directing, per Variety. Warner Bros. will distribute the film worldwide. Here's what you need to know.

What is the source material?

The Blackhawk Squadron first appeared in the anthology Military Comics, published by Quality Comics, in August 1941. Led by a former Polish Air Force pilot known as Blackhawk, the private squadron included pilots of various nationalities who fought the Nazis. They operated from a secret base and often battled fantastical war machines. DC Comics began publishing the Blackhawk series in 1957. The team has had multiple incarnations since then.

When did Spielberg first express interest in Blackhawk?

Veteran comic book writer Mark Evanier worked on the revival of the Blackhawk series for DC in 1982. Evanier recalls that the revival of the series, which had been discontinued in 1977, was prompted by Spielberg. Rumor had it that Spielberg was "interested in possibly doing something with Blackhawk and somebody even mentioned that Dan Aykroyd wanted to play the character. But I think that was just a pie in the sky, I don’t think there was ever an offer made—that somebody just inquired 'Are the rights  available if we want them?'"

What movies has Spielberg made that are set during World War II?

While still a teenager, Spielberg made Fighter Squad (1961) a short film about the horrors of the war. His third feature film, 1941, was set in California and concerned civilians who became hysterical at the thought of a Japanese invasion after Pearl Harbor.

Spielberg directed two episodes of the small-screen series Amazing Stories. In The Mission, Kevin Costner starred as the pilot of an apparently doomed air force bomber during World War II.

Empire of the Sun starred Christian Bale as a young boy who is interned in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.

Schindler's List told the tale of a businessman who endeavored to save Jewish people from dying or being killed in German concentration camps during World War II.

Saving Private Ryan followed an army squad on a dangerous mission in Europe during World War II.

Since then, Spielberg has produced Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, both military-themed films set during World War II.

What movies has Spielberg made that feature aviators?

In addition to Amazing Stories and 1941, featuring John Belushi as a wild military pilot, Raiders of the Lost Ark, set in 1936, featured Indiana Jones' escape from the jungle on a plane as well as a memorable fight scene around a plane.

Always, a modern-day remake of the World War II romantic drama A Guy Named Joe, revolves around aerial firefighters.

Are there any hints about when Spielberg might be making Blackhawk?

David Koepp (Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds, and the fifth Indiana Jones movie) is currently writing the script, so the film likely won't get started until after Indiana Jones 5 and West Side Story are completed. Perhaps 2021? We'll be happy to wait and see.

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