Chris Wedge is the respected co-founder of Blue Sky Studios and director of Robots and Ice Age. You, however, probably best know him (however indirectly) as the voice behind Ice Age character Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel willing to risk his life for an acorn. Wedge is looking to make the move into live-action features: Variety reports the producer/director has acquired the to the Paul Hoffman book Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight and may direct the film adaptation.
Santos-Dumont is described as a “dashing, impeccably dressed inventor” who entertained Parisian audiences with early aeronautic antics in 1906 before word of the Wright brothers’ Kitty Hawk success had reached Europe. Read the official book description after the break.
Official book synopsis:
On the eve of the centennial of the Wright brothers’ historic flights at Kitty Hawk, a new generation will learn about the other man who was once hailed worldwide as the conqueror of the air-Alberto Santos-Dumont. Because the Wright brothers worked in secrecy, word of their first flights had not reached Europe when Santos-Dumont took to the skies in 1906. The dashing, impeccably dressed inventor entertained Paris with his airborne antics-barhopping in a little dirigible that he tied to lampposts, circling above crowds around the Eiffel Tower, and crashing into rooftops.
A man celebrated, even pursued by the press in Paris, London, and New York, Santos-Dumont dined regularly with the Cartiers, the Rothschilds, and the Roosevelts. But beneath his lively public exterior, Santos-Dumont was a frenzied genius tortured by the weight of his own creation. Wings of Madness chronicles the science and history of early aviation and offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind of an extraordinary and tormented man, vividly depicting the sights and sounds of turn-of-the-century Paris. [Amazon]
The introduction to the Nova documentary on Santos-Dumont:
And finally, Scrat’s Contintental Crack Up, the short associated Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (opens July 13, 2012)