Tower of Terror is both one of Disney’s most popular theme park rides and the Mouse House even made a 1997 TV movie based on that ride. Tower of Terror is something of a trendsetter in that sense, being a Disney theme park ride transformed into a film (albeit a for TV) before Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion (the 2003 version starring Eddie Murphy), and Tomorrowland (which is loosely inspired by the theme park land of the same name).
Though Tower of Terror hasn’t quite achieved cult status (despite ’90s nostalgia being in full swing), many remember the campy film from the weekly anthology series The Wonderful World of Disney. The original TV movie, which starred a teenaged Kirsten Dunst and Steve Guttenberg, is about to get remade/rebooted for the big screen.
Deadline reports that screenwriter John August (Big Fish) along with producer Jim Whitaker (The Odd Life of Timothy Green) are looking for a screenwriter to give a feature treatment to a new Tower of Terror movie. According to Deadline, the two came up with an idea based on the theme park attraction and the studio sparked to their vision. So far the only news on the plot is the ride’s premise: five people in a posh hotel take an elevator and disappear after it is hit by lightning.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride (yes, the movie is based on a ride which is based on a TV show) is a tower drop ride with a narrative. Before the passengers get to the 13-story fall, they are taken through the Hollywood Tower Hotel where they are told a story (by the Twilight Zone‘s Rod Serling) about some unfortunate guests who disappear after lightning strikes their elevator-causing it to fall. The passengers are then invited to get into the service elevator where they ride through the haunted hotel and are released from the top.
John August frequently collaborates with Tim Burton – having written such Burton films as Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Frankenweenie – and it seems Tower of Terror may have that Burton look and feel. Tracking Board, way back in August, actually reported that August’s outline would be the basis for a new Tower of Terror film. As someone who does remember the original, it will be fun to see the weird and spooky, but not scary, halloween story hit the big screen.
When, exactly, that will happen remains to be seen. Disney does have Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales arriving in 2017 and recently attached Dwayne Johnson to headline a Jungle Cruise movie – not to mention, the Mouse House could eventually do something with Guillermo del Toro’s Haunted Mansion script and artwork. So, it would seem that another wave of Disney rides-turned films may soon be on their way to theaters.
We will bring you more information on the newest Tower of Terror movie as it comes out.