Steven Spielberg is set to take the cockpit for an all-new movie set in the DC Extended Universe. The iconic Academy Award-winning director has reportedly agreed to a deal that gives him creative control over an all-new movie featuring Blackhawk, the WWII-era comic book series about a squadron of ace pilots who rescue the world from enemies both conventional and exotic.
According to multiple industry reports, Spielberg, through Amblin Entertainment, not only will produce the new movie, but also look to direct. Warner Bros. is distributing the film; longtime Spielberg collaborator David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) is penning a script.
The project has long been rumored as one of Spielberg’s unrealized ambitions, with DC writer Mark Evanier revealing in 2011 that Spielberg had even envisioned comedic actor Dan Aykroyd in the leading role as far back as the early 1980s.
The new deal queues up behind two Spielberg projects that are a bit farther into the development cycle: the fifth Indiana Jones film, and his remake of the classic musical West Side Story. Development on Indiana Jones 5 is set to begin in April of 2019, and Spielberg already has put out the casting call for new actors to feature in West Side Story.
There’s no early word on what actors history’s highest-earning box office director might eye to fill out the Blackhawk squadron. The comic, which bears some thematic relation to Indiana Jones' WWII-era adventures, has a long and storied past, having been created in the 1940s by Quality Comics as a military hero cycle, before getting picked up by DC in 1957.
In addition to DC's evolving comic book permutations, the Blackhawks also have gotten occasional small-screen nods over the years in everything from old Justice League cartoons to Easter egg reference in recent episodes of Arrow. Aside from getting the serialized treatment in a series of 1950s film shorts, though, Blackhawk has never been the subject of a feature film.
Spielberg’s treatment will be the 71-year-old’s first full-on foray into the world of comic book superheroes, but if you’re itching to catch that Spielberg magic in the here and now, his latest project, Ready Player One, is showing in theaters nationwide, with a few comic book character Easter eggs to tide you over.