Fickman on way to 'Witch' redo


Andy Fickman is coming on board to direct "Witch Mountain," Walt Disney Pictures' modern re-imagining of its classic 1975 adventure movie "Escape to Witch Mountain." Disney-based Andrew Gunn is producing via his Gunn Films banner.

The 1975 film was based on a science fiction novel by Alexander Key and followed a pair of siblings, endowed with paranormal powers, who go on the run from a diabolical group of men who wish to exploit their abilities. The brother and sister turn out to be extraterrestrials.

The movie hatched a sequel, "Return to Witch Mountain," best remembered for having Bette Davis and Christopher Lee in the cast, as well as a made-for-TV movie "Beyond to Witch Mountain" that was to have been a pilot for a TV series.

Matt Lopez wrote the current draft. Lopez also penned the studio's "Bedtime Stories," which is due to go before cameras in January with Adam Shankman directing Adam Sandler.

Gunn Films' Ann Marie Sanderlin is exec producing. Brigham Taylor and Casey Wolfe are overseeing for Disney.

"Mountain" is a high priority at the company and Fickman's involvement kicks it into gear.

Fickman is quickly making Disney his new home. He directed the studio's upcoming family comedy "The Game Plan," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and recently set up the family comedy "Pool Rats," which is a semiautobiographical story inspired by Fickman's youth.

Fickman is repped by Endeavor and Evolution Entertainment.