Acclaimed writer (and Pulitzer Prize-winner) Michael Chabon has quietly become one of Disney's go-to talents of late. He did polish work on the screenplay for TRON: Legacy, and collaborated on scripts for some of the company's biggest upcoming titles, like Snow and the Seven, John Carter of Mars - and now, possibly Magic Kingdom as well.
Chabon has been approached by Jon Favreau about working on the Iron Man director's amusement park movie adaptation, but an official deal will not be settled until Chabon actually meets with the studio heads over at Disney.
Heat Vision says that Ron Moore (Battlestar Galactica) penned the original draft of the Magic Kingdom screenplay, but that Disney has been on the lookout for a new scriber since Favreau officially signed on for the project. Given that the company has already established a solid working relationship with Chabon, his involvement seems all but assured at this stage - even though the writer recently signed up to develop the fantasy adventure TV series Hobgoblin for HBO.
Here's what Favreau has said in the past, with regards to his plans for Magic Kingdom:
“Is it going to be a mash up of all the other Disney movies? Is it going to be like [what Marvel is] doing with 'The Avengers' or it is going to be like 'Night of the Museum'?... I don’t think it’s going to be mixing all the other movies. I think it’s going to be its own thing... I want to make it a little bit spookier like the old Disney movies were and try to really capture that tone."
Disney has been pushing forward of late with cinematic adaptations of its theme parks rides like Jungle Cruise and the abandoned Museum of the Weird, but Magic Kingdom sounds like the most intriguing of the lot so far. Favreau seems inclined to not merely deliver a movie that exists for the sole purpose of promoting its inspiration (a la the 2003 Haunted Mansion movie); but, instead craft a film with its own unique flavor and identity, separate from the original ride (or in this case, attractions) - much like Disney's all-too-popular Pirates of the Caribbean series has.
There are multiple directions that Favreau could go with Magic Kingdom as well. He could go the route of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and integrate classic, traditionally-animated Disney characters in a live-action setting - or possibly favor practical props and CGI to literally bring the famous attractions of the theme park to life. It's at least pleasant to hear that the actor/director isn't interested in merely making Night at the Magic Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom is tentatively scheduled to arrive in theaters by 2013, so expect to learn more about the project over the next year.