Thanks to the success of its Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Disney believes there is a lot of appeal in turning theme park rides with no real story into hit movie franchises. And with the upcoming Jungle Cruise movie starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt – which is also based on a theme park ride – the studio is certainly putting a lot of money into making that same formula stick. And the studio’s plans don’t end there.
As reported by Collider, Disney is looking to adapt another of its popular Disneyland rides – the Tower of Terror – into a hit movie as well. And to ensure they keep with the star power momentum they’re bringing Scarlett Johansson in to both produce and star in this new film, which will be another perfect Disney vehicle for her to front once her time at Marvel comes to an end with Black Widow next month.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (that’s its full name) was inspired by the titular anthology TV series and sees guests riding up an elevator in the fictional Hollywood Tower Hotel, while they are told a fictional backstory about previous hotel guests vanishing under mysterious circumstances before the elevator experiences an accelerated drop in the dark. Cue the screams of guests. We don’t have too many details on what the movie’s story will entail and how exactly Disney will turn this ride into a blockbuster movie, though we do know that Josh Cooley (Inside Out, Toy Story 4) has been hired to pen the screenplay. No director is yet attached to the project.
Strangely enough, this will not be the first time the Tower of Terror has actually been adapted. Back in 1997, before the success of Pirates of the Caribbean, Tower of Terror became the first theme park ride Disney adapted into a film with a TV film starring Steven Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst. The film was very loosely based on the ride and saw “A disgraced reporter investigates an abandoned luxury hotel where five people mysteriously disappeared sixty years earlier.” It was also firmly aimed at younger audiences and featured a relatively low budget. This time Disney is drastically increasing its budget and looking to turn this into a bigger film franchise.
With Disney all about spinning gold from straw with all their IPs, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing more theme park rides get big movie adaptations too. So, I guess we should expect a Big Thunder Mountain or Haunted Mansion movie coming our way.
Last Updated: June 24, 2021