Disney Prepping Adventure Movie Based on Matterhorn Ride (Exclusive)
Disney is developing an adventure movie project inspired by the Matterhorn ride and has set Jason Dean Hall to pen the script. Justin Springer (Tron Legacy, Prom) is producing the project, which has a working title of The Hill.
The Matterhorn, also known as the Matterhorn Bobsleds, is part of Disneyland’s Fantasyland section. Opened June 1959, the elaborate ride was inspired by Walt Disney's desire for a toboggan-themed roller coaster as well as thoughts he had after an extended trip to Switzerland, the site of the famed mountain. The ride, a centerpiece of the park, was refurbished in 1978, with one of the upgrades being the addition of three automatronic Abominable Snowmen (aka Yetis) who growl at riders.
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The idea behind The Hill is to do a thrilling, fast-paced movie centering on five young adventure seekers who, for mysterious reasons, are called to the top of the mountain and encounter a Yetis on the journey down.
Adapting Disney rides into film franchises is a priority for the company. Pirates of the Caribbean is the most successful of the rides-turned-movies, generating $3.7 billion worldwide over four films. A movie was made out of the Haunted Mansion, and another is being developed with Guillermo del Toro producing. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a Disney film, then a theme park ride, and is now being rebooted as a David Fincher directing vehicle. The ultimate theme park movie might be Disney's Magic Kingdom, which is set entirely in the park. That project is being developed by writer Michael Chabon and director Jon Favreau.
Hall is best known for writing the 2009 indie drama Spread, starring Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche. But he has worked on action-oriented projects that are in various development stages, notably Robin Hood 2058, set up at Warners, Grand Theft Auto, and sci-fi actioner Blacklight.
Hall is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Jackoway Tyerman.
by Daniel Fienberg