If It Ain’t Broke: Disney To Make Another Movie Inspired By Theme Park Ride

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Mickey Mouse climbs the summit of the Matterhorn at Disneyland.

A movie with a working title of The Hill is based on the popular Matterhorn ride. At this rate, we’ll be out of original ideas before the year’s out.

If you’ve never been, the Matterhorn (also referred to as the Matterhorn Bobsleds) is part of Disneyland’s Fantasyland section. It certainly has some legacy, considering it opened back in 1959, inspired by Walt Disney’s wish to have a toboggan-themed roller coaster as a result of a trip he took to Switzerland, which is where the actual mountain lives.

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The Hollywood Reporter is suggesting that Jason Dean Hall will write the script, but NewsFeed must admit to not knowing much about Mr. Hall other than he wrote the 2009 indie movie, Spread, starring Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche. Perhaps action movies are his bag, though, as the likes of Robin Hood 2058, Grand Theft Auto and sci-fi flick Blacklight are in various stages of development. Justin Springer (Tron Legacy) is producing, but presumably Disney is keen to nail down a director and cast.

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The premise? A thrills and spills affair about five youngsters who, somehow, reach the top of the mountain and meet something strange on the way down (NewsFeed thinks this is ambiguous enough that Disney could do a complete 180 on the plot and nobody would mind.)

And no matter what shape The Hill eventually takes, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will make plenty more of them (both dollars and sequels). Pirates of the Caribbean, famously based on a Disney attraction, has taken in a staggering $3.7 billion worldwide over its four films. Before that, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a Disney film in 1954 — five full years before the Matterhorn ride even opened — and then it became a ride in its own right. It’s also set for the reboot treatment in 2013 as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo, directed by David Fincher and written by Michael Chabon.

Speaking of Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author is apparently developing what might end up being the ne plus ultra of Disney films, Magic Kingdom, along with Iron Man director Jon Favreau. Set entirely in the theme park, details are inevitably scarce. But in the literally safe hands of Chabon, the House of Mouse could get a new lease of life.

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