Steven Spielberg to direct Blackhawk Movie

Certainly not the the property that one would expect, but I'm guessing that a) it's Spielberg and b) Guardians of the Galaxy worked for Marvel, so why not?

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Yeah, at first I thought "Oh, no." Then I thought "Saving Private Ryan" and "Indiana Jones" and it made perfect sense. Keep it distant from the dumpster fire that is the DCEU and make it a standalone war movie, and fits perfectly in Spielberg's wheelhouse.

And, hey, think of all the cameos that could happen! Sgt. Rock, Haunted Tank, Unknown Soldier ...

In fact, "Unknown Soldier" deserves his own movie. "Saving Private Ryan" meets "Mission: Impossible." Christopher Nolan would knock that out of the park.

And "Enemy Ace" deserves a movie!

An Enemy Ace movie could be interesting, but a lot would depend on how they decided to adapt the story. Hans Von Hammer didn't have any recurring villains or really any friends either, aside from the Wolf. 

Perhaps and adaptation of Garth Ennis' War In Heaven story could work, where Von Hammer was press-ganged into service during World War Two.

Ah, but which Blackhawk?

Spielberg has apparently been interested in Blackhawk for ages. His interest was part of why the Evanier/Spiegel run was published in the 80s. And if his interest greenlights a collection of those awesome books, that would bring things full circle. (Or full War Wheel, as the case may be.)

It's hard to know which version the filmmakers will build on. Aside from the versions mentioned, a Kirk Alyn serial appeared in 1952; DC cast the Blackhawks as contemporary mercenaries in the 1970s; and Howard Chaykin gave Blackhawk a makeover in the later 1980s. A modern day Blackhawks was one of DC's New 52 titles.

The Evanier/Spiegle run is my favorite run, although I'm no expert. I mean, outside of the one Archives DC printed, I haven't read any Blackhawk before my collection begins in the early '60s. So the early stuff might be more adaptable or Spielbergesque. But if you're just going to adapt one single issue, I nominate this one, from two creators whose work I don't usually care for:

I've seen the central mystery -- "where is the microfilm hidden?" -- used in other films, so that might have to change. (Modern viewers would guess the answer in the first frame.) But what got me when reading this issue back in 1968 was that each Blackhawk was taking a little girl partway on a journey before handing her off to the next Blackhawk, with the first one staying behind to delay the bad guys. In each case, they seemed to have absolutely no escape plan -- they were just cheerfully sacrificing themselves to achieve their part of the mission. That boggled my 10-year-old mind. 

Of course, this being a Bob Haney comic book, all of them miraculously survived. But later, Evanier introduced the idea that there were LOTS of Blackhawks, not just seven, and we only knew about certain ones*, and that some died on nearly every mission, "Mission Incredible" slammed into focus for me as a movie.

* I seem to vaguely recall that Evanier didn't even use all of the Magnificent Seven, just a few of them. Anybody remember?

Thanks Luke. You're forgiven, and the link is fixed.

Luke Blanchard said:

If Randy will forgive me, the link seems to be defective. I'll take this post down later.

I agree.  I think “Unknown Soldier” has lots of potential.  “Haunted Tank” could be a lot of fun, but the whole Confederate general thing might be a PR disaster and scare off the studios.  “Sgt. Rock” would be tricky.  It was always intended to be “realistic.”  How would you keep that spirit without it being a war movie that could be about Sgt. Jones or Sgt. Smith?  Maybe it could end the way Kanigher intended, but audiences don’t seem to enjoy sad endings.  “Enemy Ace” also has great potential; the trick is how to make the enemy sympathetic.    WWI was so long ago l think it is possible.  “The Blue Max” worked as a movie.

A bit farther afield, I think the Silver Age Adam Strange could work as a movie (series), especially if all the post-Silver Age updates are tossed.  Same for the Challengers of the Unknown.  Set it in the early 1960s-that setting worked fine for “The Shape of Water.”  Star Hawkins would also be fun; keep it light and zany or else it turns into “Blade Runner.”

Captain Comics said:

Yeah, at first I thought "Oh, no." Then I thought "Saving Private Ryan" and "Indiana Jones" and it made perfect sense. Keep it distant from the dumpster fire that is the DCEU and make it a standalone war movie, and fits perfectly in Spielberg's wheelhouse.

And, hey, think of all the cameos that could happen! Sgt. Rock, Haunted Tank, Unknown Soldier ...

In fact, "Unknown Soldier" deserves his own movie. "Saving Private Ryan" meets "Mission: Impossible." Christopher Nolan would knock that out of the park.

And "Enemy Ace" deserves a movie!

Dave Palmer said:

“Sgt. Rock” would be tricky.  It was always intended to be “realistic.”  How would you keep that spirit without it being a war movie that could be about Sgt. Jones or Sgt. Smith?  Maybe it could end the way Kanigher intended, but audiences don’t seem to enjoy sad endings.  

I wouldn't want this to be the Sgt. Rock movie, but I always thought the story of the last guy to get killed in the war is a great concept for a movie. I mean, some poor jamoke would have to be the very last casualty, right?

Luke Blanchard said:

It's hard to know which version the filmmakers will build on. Aside from the versions mentioned, a Kirk Alyn serial appeared in 1952; DC cast the Blackhawks as contemporary mercenaries in the 1970s; and Howard Chaykin gave Blackhawk a makeover in the later 1980s. A modern day Blackhawks was one of DC's New 52 titles.

God, I hope it's not the Howard Chaykin version! It looked pretty, as Chaykin's stuff always does, but it's needlessly sordid, as Chaykin's stuff too often is. But I think Chaykin's cynicism wouldn't be something Steven Spielberg would do.

Captain Comics said:

* I seem to vaguely recall that Evanier didn't even use all of the Magnificent Seven, just a few of them. Anybody remember?

I seem to vaguely recall that Mark Evanier's stories had all seven members, but individual issues focused on groups of two or three, or spotlighted solo members.

I haven't read all that many Blackhawk stories myself. Just the Evanier/Dan Spiegle run, the Howard Chaykin miniseries, a handful of post-Crisis stories -- weren't the Blackhawks featured in Action Comics Weekly? -- and the classic "Black and Blue Hawks!" tale in MAD.

Yep, the Blackhawks were in Action Comics Weekly -- post-war set stories by Martin Pasko and Rich Burchett, following the Howard Chaykin series. They had they own title for a while, too, once Action abandoned the anthology format. 

Dave Palmer said:

“Sgt. Rock” would be tricky.  It was always intended to be “realistic.”  How would you keep that spirit without it being a war movie that could be about Sgt. Jones or Sgt. Smith?  Maybe it could end the way Kanigher intended, but audiences don’t seem to enjoy sad endings.

I see two ways with a Sgt. Rock movie: Play up the "leader of men" angle, the ordinary guy who rises to the occasion with grit and street smarts, or play up the "band of brothers" angle with the Combat-Happy Joes of Easy Company. Either one of those is in Steven Spielberg's wheelhouse.

For the "leader of men" angle, there's the story of how Rock got his stripes on "Three Stripes Hill!" (Our Army at War #90, January 1960).

For the "band of brothers," there's a wealth of material. I might go with the Brian Azzarello/Joe Kubert Vertigo graphic novel Between Hell & a Hard Place, just for this insight: The new guy in Sgt. Rock stories always gets a nickname. The one in this story complains, and Rock tells him back in the world, you were somebody else. Here in the war, you're somebody different. If you get to back, you might get to be him again. 

Dave Palmer said:

“Haunted Tank” could be a lot of fun, but the whole Confederate general thing might be a PR disaster and scare off the studios.  

I don't know how you make that work in this day and age. I suppose they could do the Vertigo series from 2009, but that isn't really classic "Haunted Tank."

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