Steven Spielberg is making a DC Comics movie. Within 24 hours of announcing Cathy Yan for the Harley Quinn-centric Birds of Prey movie, Warner Bros. revealed that Spielberg is adapting Blackhawk, a seriously deep cut from the DC back-catalog.
Spielberg is producing and plans to direct, with familiar collaborator David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) writing the screenplay.
Blackhawk is a comic about a team of dashing WWII-era pilots, the Blackhawk Squadron. They’re led by a hero named—you guessed it—Blackhawk. The series began in 1941, making it a direct contemporary of Captain America. Originally published by Military Comics, DC acquired the title in 1956. During its heyday, Blackhawk was more popular than Superman. Now, however, it’s pretty obscure.b
If you’re wondering why Warner Bros. is forging ahead with Blackhawk while better-known heroes like Green Lantern languish in development hell, the answer is probably Spielberg himself. He’s been interested in adapting the comic since the 1980s, and at one point he was rumored to want Dan Aykroyd in the lead role. As the filmmaker behind Indiana Jones, you can see why he’d connect with the material: a sincere and retro 1940s adventure story.
Blackhawk grows an ever-growing list of DC Comics movies publicly known to be in development at Warner Bros. Along with Aquaman, Shazam! and Wonder Woman 2 (all of which are in production), Warner Bros. has spinoffs in the works for Cyborg, the Flash, Harley Quinn, and the Joker. Then there’s Batgirl, Matt Reeves’ The Batman, Black Adam, Justice League Dark, The New Gods (with Ava DuVernay), Deadshot, Deathstroke, Nightwing, Lobo, and sequels for Man of Steel, Justice League, and Suicide Squad.
Some of these clearly won’t make the cut, but with a famous name like Spielberg onboard, Blackhawk just shot to the head of the line.