Monday, July 18, 2011

Six ride-inspired films Disney hopes to be next franchise

Read entire article at BlastR

Wishing Disney would look beyond Pirates of the Caribbean and start making big-budget movies out of some of its other theme park rides? Well, hold onto your mouse ears—because here come six new film projects from the Happiest Place On Earth.

Disneyland is becoming fertile soil for Hollywood ideas, sailing well beyond the gazillionaire galleon of Pirates. Who else can calmly reach into a bag of magic and pull out franchises for potential worldwide blockbusters? The idea of attraction-inspired flicks began with the ill-fated Eddie Murphy nightmare Haunted Mansion and the unbearable The Country Bears, but since then Disney has refined its game with the Pirates juggernaut, which it recently announced will return in a fifth installment after pillaging the global box office. Disneyland opened on a sweltering July 17 in 1955, making last Sunday its 56th anniversary—and what better way to celebrate than to review its colorful lineup of ride-based movies in development?
The dark wizardry of Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) has been tapped to reboot Haunted Mansion after Eddie Murphy's 2003 abomination. Announced at the 2010 Comic-Con, the film will be live-action and filmed in 3-D, harkening back to the days of William Castle spookhouse screenings of the '50s and '60s. "If you take the children, they will scream," del Toro said at last year's fanboy fest. He's promised to stay true to the art and aesthetics of the original attraction that Disney Imagineers created. To the delight of hardcore fans, the script's mythology will be created around the "Hat Box Ghost" and the unfortunate legacy of the seafaring Blood family. With its 999 Happy Haunts, the Haunted Mansion ride opened at Disneyland in 1969 and has been updated over the years, more recently with a Nightmare Before Christmas holiday overlay. This and his Pacific Rim monster mash are the projects that del Toro left the Hobbit director's chair for.