Brad Bird is best known for his work on animated feature films. He wrote and directed The Iron Giant, as well as both The Incredibles and Ratatouille for Pixar. Back in March of 2008, it was reported that Bird would make his live-action debut with 1906, a movie about a son trying to figure out who killed his father around the time that the devastating San Francisco earthquake of 1906 struck.
While Bird is still working on 1906, it now looks like it will not be his first live-action title; after months of rumors and reports that the director was one of the names being pursued to direct Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible IV, Cruise himself has confirmed himself that Bird is indeed the man for the job.
It looks like it came down to Bird and Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright for the gig, but with Wright currently working on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, that situation didn’t work out. Wright-constant Simon Pegg of course starred in Mission: Impossible III, allowing Cruise and producer J.J. Abrams to meet Edgar.
Here’s what Cruise, in a chat with Empire Magazine, had to say about Wright and the confirmation of Brad Bird:
I dig Edgar. Very nice guy, very smart, very talented, I’d really like to do something with him. I met Edgar on the set of Mission 3. Simon Pegg and those guys are hilarious. I love Shaun Of The Dead. It’s amazing. But we’re working with Brad right now. I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about it but everything’s signed… Brad is doing it.
The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille – Brad is enormously talented and JJ and I are having a blast, cranking away. We’re having a lot of fun. I like working with people I just love hanging out with. You get to hang out and laugh and talk stories and movies and technology: what are we going to do?
As it falls into place, it looks like M:I IV will be fast-tracked for a 2011 release, and Bird’s 1906 will release some time in 2012.