J Blakeson In Talks to Direct HELL AND GONE, Based On the Great Chicago Fire of 1871; Jonah Nolan Writing the Screenplay

     November 8, 2010

Nobody can resist a good tragedy. In the wake of news regarding a film based on the trapped Chilean Miners comes word of a currently-in-development-motion picture based on the events surrounding the Great Chicago Fire, considered one of the biggest disasters in American history. J Blakeson, director of last year’s critically acclaimed The Disappearance of Alice Creed, is in negotiations with Warner Bros. to direct the film, which is currently titled Hell and Gone. The extremely busy, and highly reputable, Jonah Nolan (co-writer of The Dark Knight), meanwhile, penned the screenplay which The Hollywood Reporter describes as “a Titanic-like historical tragedy and love story”.

Aside from Alice Creed, Blakeson also wrote the screenplay to The Descent: Part 2. Jonah Nolan finished the first draft of his screenplay to The Dark Knight Rises back in September, and has since been attached to numerous projects, including the sci-fi thriller Interstellar, which is currently in Hollywood limbo. Hit the jump for more.

I’m all for epic tragedies set against actual events – I was one of the supposed “few” that liked Titanic – but they have to be done in good taste or else you risk dishonoring the lives of those who passed away. That being said, the “Great” Chicago Fire of 1871 is a tragedy in the truest sense, one that very nearly wiped out the Windy City and resulted in the death of over 300 people. While such a site as the burning of Chicago may appear spectacular on the big screen, it’s important that those involved create a dramatic tone that honors the lives that were lost, without succumbing to blockbuster standards (something I felt James Cameron achieved with his magnum opus).

We don’t want another Pearl Harbor on our hands, right?  Saying that, with Jonah Nolan involved, I’m very curious.

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