It had been one of Ray Harryhausen's dreams to see War Eagles come to the big screen. There was an accomplished film producer named Merian C. Cooper in the 1930's. Cooper created "King Kong" and other iconic films. He had written a treatment for War Eagles, but the film was never produced. Ray worked on some of Cooper's films early in his career and always liked the concept of War Eagles. He and his partner approached me to write, publish and produce it with "Ray Harryhausen Presents".
I feel like the universe had a hand in this opportunity as people who had never met before came together via "out of the blue" connections. How I met Carl was one of them. I was sitting in my studio thinking about writing War Eagles, when the phone rang. Carl Macek had dialed a wrong number. Normally you don't chat with someone when they dial wrong, but for some reason we did. It turned out that Carl was an expert in the history and technology of this era as he had done extensive research for another project.
So, we met at the counter of Bob's Big Boy in Burbank to discuss how to write it. Writing a story like this was tricky as Cooper's 1939 concept had inspired so many other films and books since his day. Although inspired by Cooper's original concept, our story had to be different in order to have it be engaging to today's audiences. In creating our new work, we added historical facts, engaging realistic characters and innovative technology of the time. What happened is that War Eagles became really interesting. A fantastic, yet, plausible retelling of "parallel" events surrounding World War II - if ancient Vikings riding giant eagles in dangerous dogfights against German planes over New York City's Worlds Fair attempting to defeat the Nazis and their General's devastating electromagnetic weapon was plausible.
It was very fun to write. I loved working with Carl. He was incredibly creative, a fantastic resource for history and technology of this time - and a really, nice guy. When my company, Angel Gate published the War Eagles novel it brought Ray's dream one step closer.
The new 2nd edition is now available.
by Debbie Bishop and Carl Macek
Inspired by a concept by Merian C. Cooper, creator of King Kong...
Just prior to WWII, a publicly-humiliated Air Force test pilot, court-martialed for a stunt that endangered President Roosevelt, takes the only job he can get: flying an experimental plane from the South to North poles. When his plane is attacked and crashes in the Arctic, he finds himself in an undiscovered land with an ancient people who ride giant eagles and, in a surprising turn of events, becomes America's only hope against a devastating attack by the Nazis and their powerful new electromagnetic weapon.
Cover illustration by Mike S. Miller