‘Fast & Furious’ Producer Adapting Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain for TV

Published 2 years ago by

Big Thunder Mountain Disney Theme Park Fast & Furious Producer Adapting Disneys Big Thunder Mountain for TV

Now that Disney has the combined cinematic might of Star Wars (and other Lucasfilm properties), the vast majority of the Marvel catalog, and possibly (if rumors are to be believed) Hasbro at its disposal, one might think the company is no longer in need of seeking out ways to translate theme park rides such as Big Thunder Mountain into properties for television and film.

It turns out that thinking would be dead wrong, as it was recently announced the company plans to turn the Western-inspired train ride into an ABC television series with the help of Fast & Furious writer and executive producer Chris Morgan and actor-turned-writer Jason Fuchs (Ice Age: Continental Drift). Naturally, at this stage of development, Disney isn’t going into much detail about what the proposed “dramatic take” on the theme park ride might entail, so there’s plenty of room for speculation amongst those who’ve recently become familiar with the ride because the line for Space Mountain was too long.

It’s understandable that the Mouse House would want to convert more rides into what is ostensibly a live-action commercial for its theme parks, and considering Disney struck gold when it transformed the unassuming Pirates of the Caribbean into a billion dollar film franchise starring Johnny Depp, it makes sense for them to try and capture lighting in a bottle once more. But unlike Pirates and other adaptations like The Haunted Mansion - or the planned adventure film based on the Matterhorn ride - Big Thunder Mountain is mostly devoid of any catchy element (such as pirates, ghosts or yetis) that might easily hook viewers. So unless the idea is to have the mining town of Tumbleweed get struck by earthquakes, flash floods or (in the case of Tokyo Disneyland) tsunamis on a weekly basis, Fuchs will likely have free rein in coming up with the series’ basic plot and themes.

Keira Knightley Geoffrey Rush Johnny Depp and Mackenzie Crook in Pirates of the Caribbean Fast & Furious Producer Adapting Disneys Big Thunder Mountain for TV

However Fuchs decides to spin Big Thunder Mountain, he’ll likely have some help from Morgan, who is a far more seasoned screenwriter. In addition to his work on the last three entries in the Fast & Furious franchise, Morgan wrote the adaptation for Mark Millar’s comic Wanted and recently penned the screenplay for 47 Ronin, the beleaguered samurai action-drama starring Keanu Reeves. Apparently, Morgan is one to strike while the proverbial iron is hot, since he is also actively developing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the barbaric role of Conan in the upcoming sword-swinging sequel, The Legend of Conan.

Aside from Big Thunder Mountain, another Pirates sequel and the aforementioned Matterhorn, Disney is currently working on adapting the Jungle Cruise ride into a feature film. But none of these projects can compare to what may very well be the supreme theme park movie in Magic Kingdom, the story of which takes place entirely inside a Disneyland park. While it sounds about as exciting as reading vacation brochure, Magic Kingdom actually has some top-notch talent behind it in the form of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and screenwriter Michael Chabon and director Jon Favreau.

So it seems that no matter how many other properties Disney is able to gobble up for a larger piece of your entertainment dollar, there are still plenty of creative types who think Disneyland itself could be the inspiration for the next big movie or television program.

Screen Rant will keep you updated on Big Thunder Mountain as news is made available.


Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. You gotta admit, Disney has some cool names for their rides!

    I might normally roll my eyes at a Thunder Mountain TV show but when you look at what Disney did with Pirates of the Caribbean it’s probably best to hold off judgement. And TV could always use more westerns, right?

  2. This sounds like it could prove to be a substantially successful show. I think not having already established Disney properties within the Big Thunder Mountain universe is actually a good thing. It gives them a reason to bring a bit more originality to their ever-growing empire of producing content for Marvel and Lucasfilm. Also it would be really interesting and smart, in my opinion, to perhaps introduce the BTM world(dibs on the birth of this “abreev”! lol) by having it be a spin-off of ABC’s already wildly popular Once Upon A Time series. It makes complete sense! The demographics of that show are flexible among children and adults, plus Disney/ABC has an established relationship with Joss Whedon, someone who knows a thing or to about spin-off shows(i.e. Buffy & Angel). Of course his Marvel obligations would keep him from fulfilling a contracted role in this realm, but his insight alone could prove to be a great asset for the Disney team. This could also work for Magic Kingdom, albeit, if it does end up being a feature then it would be like a reverse of what Marvel did with The Avengers & the S.H.I.E.L.D. series.

  3. Hey man, great article but you forgot the proposed Tomorrowland film starring the Rock (I think we already had a movie like that called Meet the Robinsons) and Tiki based on the Enchanted Tiki Room. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the Paris version of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has more of a story because it is connected to Phantom Manor (their version of Haunted Mansion). The owner of the mine also grew prosperous in the upshot town and built his Frontier Victorian Mansion. On the day that his young daughter was supposed to marry a man he didn’t approve of the earthquake struck that ruined the mine, the town, and made the mine owner disappear. That is why Thunder Mesa is now a ghost town actually inhabited by many wild west characters (the Paris Haunted Mansion’s answer to the grim grinning ghosts scene on the ride). I’d love to see something with that but i don’t know if the new series is going to take the term ghost town so literally.

  4. What’s next Mr. Toad’s wild ride perhaps. No wait thats A ride based on an amatated movie sorry my bad.

  5. I would like to see something happen with this, but I think they should do a film instead of a tv show.

  6. I hope this moves forward! I can’t wait for this really. The ride its self has such a cool legend behind it why not show it on TV and use the grits and drama a good western should have! :)