WASHINGTON: Director Steven Spielberg (Jaws, ET, Close Encounters) is taking on the superhero genre. Joining forces with Warner Bros., Spielberg is directing “Blackhawk.” The 1940s era DC Comic book tells the story of a legendary paramilitary unit known as the Blackhawk Squadron. So why don’t you know about this group of heroes?
Blackhawks nearly as famous than Superman
The Blackhawks were once very popular. In fact, at certain times during the 1940s, the series sold better than any other comic book. Including Batman and Captain America. There was a Blackhawk radio series in 1950 and a movie serial in 1952.
Blackhawk is the codename of the leader of the Blackhawk Squadron, a group of World War II fighter pilot combating Nazi tyranny. The flyers operate out of a secret base on Blackhawk Island. As they dive into battle they screech “Hawk-a-a-a” instilling fear in those around them.
In the comic series, the Blackhawk seven-members are each from a different Allied country. Some are soldiers who were able to escape the Nazi occupation of their home. The squad leader, Blackhawk, is Janos Prohaska of Krakow, Poland. Pilot Andre Blanc-Dumont helped to form the French Resistance.
According to dc.wika.com:
“One of Andre’s most celebrated adventures took place in 1943 when the Blackhawks stopped British Nazi sympathizer Death Mayhew from releasing an atomic bomb over the United States.”
The Blackhawks do not fight for any one country, battling Nazi’s under their own colors.
Blackhawk Origins in World War II
Debuting in August 1941 in the first issue of the Quality Comics’ anthology series Military Comics. Military Comics featured ” stories of the Army and Navy.” Will Eisner described Blackhawks as “a modern version of the Robin Hood legend.”
When Cuidera left the series to serve in World War II, Reed Crandell picked up the series.
DC legend Jim Steranko (Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D) says:
“Where Cuidera made Blackhawk a best-seller, Crandall turned it into a classic, a work of major importance and lasting value.”
During Crandall’s run Blackhawks popularity zenith was met.
Spielberg is working with familiar faces
Spielberg collaborator David Koepp is penning the “Blackhawk,” screenplay. Koepp has previously worked with Spielberg on multiple films. Including “Jurassic Park,” “The Lost World,” “War of the Worlds,” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
Amblin Entertainment will receive the production credit.
Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich said they are proud and excited to be working with Spielberg again. There is fan and studio anticipation over this upcoming film. For young fans of the comic book genre, it may reignite a cornerstone series. More importantly, it may be a first introduction to a patriotic driven story that does not feature super-heroes but the heroes that are created during war.
Spielberg is the director of quite a few of films of the World War II genre including Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List. will use his World War II knowledge as he works to create this period film. Spielberg’s only other comic book based film is “The Adventures of Tintin.”
Steven Spielberg will have his hands full over the next few years
Steven Spielberg will also be helming the fifth installment of his popular Indiana Jones franchise and later West Side Story. Spielberg has become the first director in history to generate $10 billion worldwide in his lifetime. It’s unclear when Steven Spielberg will begin shooting “Blackhawk.” However, Warner Bros. has time to flesh out the project before Spielberg takes over the reins.