Michael Chabon has been confirmed as writer of Disney’s Magic Kingdom ; he joins director Jon Favreau in bringing the famous Disney theme park to the big screen.
Chabon, screenwriter of Spider-Man 2 and the upcoming John Carter and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea: Captain Nemo , was rumoured to be writing the Magic Kingdom a few months ago.
Well, it seems that there was truth to those rumours after all. It has been suggested that the Magic Kingdom could be likened to A Night At The Museum , only set in Disneyland.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news, and they also speculate that the film may span across “other parks worldwide”, as well as Disneyland in California.
As more details of Magic Kingdom come to light, Jon Favreau has been speaking about his preparation and research for the film. At the Hero Complex Film Festival, Favreau spoke about taking on such beloved Disney icons:
“To get to speak for the canon of [Marvel, with the Iron Man movies] and adopted as part of it is a really fun cultural thing. And even more so as I do my research on Disney because people are so connected to all of these archetypes and in our society, the commonality in our melting pot tends to be the secular aspect of our society.
"Somehow the Disney characters and what we grew up with, whether going to the parks or watching the movies, our generation, our parents, our grandparents, all have felt the same emotions and grown up with those characters and so to have the opportunity [is amazing.]”
So how do you research a film set in a theme park?
“I’ve been hanging out with the Imagineers, especially Tony Baxter who is the main dude who has been there for decades. They called up and said: ‘Do you want to go on the after dark tour?’ And they said, ‘Where do you want to go? We don’t close till midnight so why don’t we have dinner at the Blue Bayou or Club 33,’ I said ‘Blue Bayou is fine,’ and then we’ll wait until the park closes, we’ll hang out at Walt’s apartment over the fire station.
"It’s untouched and the baby bottles are still there, pictures of him and his wife are there and it’s over the lookout and you see down into the park.And then when it closed they say ‘Okay, where do you want to go?’ ‘I don’t know, Pirates?’ ‘Okay Pirates.’ They open up Pirates [of the Caribbean] and there you are walking behind the sets and over the bridges and The Haunted Mansion?
"All the things I grew up saying ‘How did they do that?’ And now I’m looking at the way they do it.
"It just touches things in me and that all, again, it’s always about emotion and what’s charged for people in a good way where you can be respectful of it but not overly reverent of it.
"Pixar does a really good job, Toy Story does a really good job of finding that tone and to me, on these big movies, it’s all about tone. That’s my only gig as a director is to make sure the tone’s right…
"As a director your only true responsibility is coordinating it and making it have the proper tone and personality and so when you see something that really inspires you, it allows you to obsess on something for two years, which is how long these movies take.
"You have to find something that just really floats your boat and it gets you excited.
"At least where I’m at now, I haven’t had to compromise yet in my career as far as far as the material I’ve chosen. I don’t always know what I’m getting myself into but I always start off with feeling extremely bullish on the whole situation.
"And this one, it gets me excited that I can do something I’ve never done before. And also, I’ve got three kids and just to connect with something that joins all generations of my family, at this point in my life, is really really exciting and compelling."
It seems that Favreau is taking his responsibility to Disney fans very seriously indeed. As he's teaming with Disney's current go-to screenwriter, let's hope this turns out to be something special.