It’s official: Brad Bird will direct 1906.


One year ago, I mentioned that Brad Bird — the Oscar-winning director of The Iron Giant (1999), The Incredibles (2004) and Ratatouille (2007) — was thinking of making his live-action debut, and Pixar’s, with a movie about the San Francisco earthquake called 1906. Today, the Hollywood Reporter says the movie is a go — and it will be co-produced by Disney/Pixar and Warner Brothers:

The story centers on a college student who begins to investigate the murder of his father, uncovering a web of deceit that has left the city vulnerable to the sort of fire that breaks out when the Great Earthquake of 1906 hits San Francisco.

The historical San Francisco earthquake (or at least its aftermath) was one of the first major natural disasters to be caught on film; the video below shows footage that was taken from a streetcar shortly before and after the earthquake took place:


Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

A dramatization of the earthquake also formed the special-effects centrepiece of the Clark Gable movie San Francisco (1936) — produced only 30 years after the real thing (reportedly, survivors of the earthquake got sick and left the theatre during this sequence):


Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

The slightly earlier film Frisco Jenny (1932) concerns a survivor who goes on to live in a “bawdy house”, and reportedly has an impressive special-effects sequence of its own, too.

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  • I remember the Clark Gable version of San Fransisco like it was yesterday. Just like another film of great viewing in the days of yesterday was “King Kong”. The affects were very well constructed considering they never had all the technology that we have today.