Disney Planning Another Ride-Inspired Film

Disney's Matterhorn
The Province: As its fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film races to the billion-dollar mark at the worldwide box office, Disney is developing an adventure movie based on another theme-park attraction.

This time it's the Matterhorn rollercoaster ride, also known as the Matterhorn Bobsleds, which has been part of Disneyland's Fantasyland section since 1959.

The studio has hired Jason Dean Hall to write a script for the project, which has a working title of The Hill. The idea is to do a thrilling, fast-paced movie centring on five young adventure seekers who, for mysterious reasons, are called to the top of the mountain and encounter Yetis on the journey down.

The Matterhorn ride was inspired by Walt Disney's desire for a tobogganthemed roller-coaster, as well as a trip to Switzerland, the location of the famed Matterhorn mountain. The ride, a centrepiece of the park, was refurbished in 1978, with one of the upgrades being the addition of three automatronic Abominable Snowmen, or yetis, who growl at riders.

Adapting rides into films is clearly a priority for Disney. Pirates of the Caribbean is the most successful of the ridesturned-movies, generating $3.7 billion worldwide over four films.

A movie was made out of the Haunted Mansion and another is being developed. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a Disney film, then a theme park ride, and is now being rebooted as a David Fincher film. But the ultimate theme park movie might be Disney's Magic Kingdom, which is set entirely in the park. That project is being developed by writer Michael Chabon and director Jon Favreau.


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