Pixar Brain Trust Helping Jon Favreau Get His Magic Kingdom Movie Right

It’s been almost two years since Disney’s Magic Kingdom – a project that had already been in development for some time – was handed over to Jon Favreau, and it seems that the director is making the most of his luxuriously long prep time. In taking the time to properly craft the story, Favreau has approached the brain trust at Pixar, a studio who will spend an average of 3-4 years developing their stories before anything goes into production.

Favreau will probably need the additional preparation time with the amount of work he has lined up. Along with directing Jersey Boys on Broadway and reprising his role in Iron Man 3, he has just joined the cast of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio as a securities lawyer.

Magic Kingdom‘s original script was written by Ronald D. Moore, and Michael Chabon was brought on last summer to rewrite; with a project this big, Disney seem intent on giving it the development time it deserves. While Magic Kingdom will not be an animated film, Favreau stated in a recent interview with Crave that he admires and wishes to emulate Pixar’s creative process, and has been consulting with the studio throughout the development stage.

What we’ve been doing is writing a script, going up to Pixar, meeting with the brain trust, coming back down, bringing on artists, story editors and putting it together as though it were an animated film so that by the time we actually film it, we’ll have a rock solid story. I don’t want to rush anything. I want this thing to be perfect. I want it to be one shot one kill, like a sniper. I want to make sure this movie’s right in the crosshairs that we can really knock it out of the park so to speak.

Favreau definitely seems excited, if all those mixed metaphors are anything to go by. Speaking of that rock solid story, what is it going to be?

It’s going to be a family in the park. It’s an alternate reality version of the park that they get launched into. So much of it is just how it weaves together as a tapestry and what the visuals look like in creating this rich world. It’s informed by everything that I remember and know about the park from going there since I was a small child.

Not having visited Disneyland or Magic Kingdom myself, I can’t volunteer any childhood memories that would give clues about the possible plot for the film. Bleeding Cool’s Brendon Connelly has visited the theme park, though, and had this to say about it:

It’s a strange place. I actually got quite weirded out the first time I went. Main Street was very odd. It was like a real, functional street in every respect except for it was never built to be a street. It was built for a different purpose. It’s like somebody making a sports car specifically so a woman in a swimsuit could lounge on it. It wouldn’t even have to have an engine, just somewhere for the woman.
And that’s why Brendon Connelly has yet to be allowed anywhere near Disney’s intellectual property.

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