Start practicing your "Hawk-a-a-a!" battle cry.
Deadline is reporting that legendary director and producer Steven Spielberg is producing a film adaptation of the DC Comics series Blackhawk for Warner Bros. and may possibly direct as well.
Spielberg has been interested in Blackhawk as a possible film project since 1982, which encouraged DC Comics to resume publication of the series. Spielberg’s next two movies are the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones series and a remake of West Side Story.
According to the article, the screenplay is being written by David Koepp, who collaborated with Spielberg as a screenwriter on Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Spielberg will produce the film with Kristie Macosko Krieger, under Amblin Entertainment, while Sue Kroll will serve as executive producer.
Spielberg remarked, "It was wonderful working with the team at Warner Bros. to bring Ready Player One to the screen. They bring a blend of passion and professionalism to everything they do and have a tremendous history in this genre. I am excited to reunite with them on Blackhawk."
Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich, who made the announcement, said, "We are so proud to be the studio behind Steven Spielberg’s latest hit, and are thrilled to be working with him again on this new action adventure. We can’t wait to see what new ground he will break in introducing Blackhawk to movie audiences worldwide."
Created in 1941 by Chuck Cuidera, Bob Powell, and Will Eisner, Blackhawk first appeared in Military Comics #1, published by Quality Comics until the company's acquisition in 1956 by DC Comics. Led by a mysterious man known as Blackhawk, the Blackhawks (or more formally, the Blackhawk Squadron) are a small team of World War II-era ace pilots of varied nationalities, each typically known under a single name, either their given name or their surname. Though the membership roster has undergone changes over the years, the team has been portrayed most consistently as having seven core members
In their most well-known incarnation, the Blackhawks operate from a hidden base known only as Blackhawk Island, fly Grumman XF5F Skyrocket planes, and shout their battle cry of "Hawk-a-a-a!" as they descend from the skies to fight tyranny and oppression. Clad in matching blue and black uniforms (with Blackhawk himself boasting a hawk insignia on his chest), early stories pitted the team against the Axis powers, but they would also come to battle recurring foes such as King Condor and Killer Shark, as well as encounter an array of gorgeous and deadly femme fatales. They also frequently squared off against fantastical war machines ranging from amphibious "shark planes" and flying tanks, to the aptly named War Wheel, a gigantic rolling behemoth adorned with spikes and machine guns.
In 1988, the Blackhawks were revamped with a new continuity, following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. The members included:
- Major Janos Prohaska (Blackhawk) – Reestablished as being born and raised in Poland, Prohaska is portrayed as the consummate leader, but also as a brash, hard-drinking womanizer. He is also revealed to have been a member of the Communist Party, expelled by Joseph Stalin after opposing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, a 1939 treaty of non-aggression between the Soviets and Nazi Germany.
- Captain Stanislaus Drozdowski – Longtime friend of Blackhawk's who fights alongside him in the Polish Air Force before becoming one of the earliest members of the Blackhawks—and one of the team's first casualties.
- Captain André Blanc-Dumont – An excellent but slightly reckless pilot, the Frenchman is second-in-command of the team, as well as Prohaska's closest confidant and frequent co-pilot.
- Captain Olaf Friedriksen – Danish in this version, athletic Olaf is a savant with languages and skilled at radio operations.
- Captain Ritter Hendricksen – The Dutch marksmen and demolitions expert, as well as the oldest member of the team.
- Captain Carlo "Chuck" Sirianni – An Italian-American from New Jersey who served with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services before joining the team and becoming their chief navigation officer. Chuck is also a dabbler in electronics and aeronautic technology.
- Lieutenant Weng Chan (Chop-Chop) – Chinese and said to be just 17 when he first joins the team, Weng is a skilled pilot, flight mechanic, and cook.
- Captain Natalie Reed (Lady Blackhawk) – Brilliant Russian-American flight engineer who redesigns the Blackhawks' aircraft and fights alongside them. She gives birth to a son in 1945, the product of a brief affair with Hendricksen.
This will be the second live-action adaptation of the series, after the 1952 Blackhawk film serial that ran for 15 parts and starred Kirk Alyn as Blackhawk. The team also appeared in the animated film Justice League: The New Frontier, and the animated series Justice League (featuring Robert Picardo as Janos Prohaska) and Justice League Unlimited featuring Seymour Cassel as Chuck Sirianni).