Are Disney Actually, Really Working On An Animated Marvel Movie?

Ever since Marvel became part of the Mickey Mouse Empire, we’ve regularly heard rumours that the studio would bring their new, four-coloured characters over to The Magic Kingdom and realise some kind of crossover.

None of these rumours have been particularly well sourced, however. Perhaps until now.

We have to go back to July 2011 to pick up the end of the thread, and a report on the Blue Sky Disney blog. It’s a reputable site with a good track record in reporting what’s going on at Disney before it’s actually been announced, often times before it’s even leaked anywhere else.

And it was last July that they first referenced “Don Hall’s super secret project.”

That project, once announced will generate a lot of buzz in certain geek communities, as it’s going to surprise a lot of people for what it is and what it’s not. But it’s in the very early embryonic stage and it depends on how well the project is received upon the presentation that is being prepared for John [Lasster] and Ed [Catmull].

Geek communities you say? Okay, that’s interesting but it’s nothing more than a whisp, so far. Not really.

Don Hall, incidentally, was a co-director on the recent Winnie the Pooh movie and worked in the story department on several other Disney films. I met him last year, and he’s certainly “with it” and ambitious.

So let’s skip forward to last week and another post on the same site:

The projects competing for 2014/2015 are the uber-secret film from Don Hall, which will be a marvelously unexpected project if it ever gets the green light, and Nathan Greno and Byron Howard’s films which are deep in development.

Marvelously. He didn’t do that by mistake. I’ve read enough of Honor Hunter’s blogging to know what he’s up to.

Incidentally – the whole post is interesting, and gives a lot of interesting Disney tidbits: The Philip K. Dick adaptation King of the Elves appears to have gone back on the shelf; Prep & Landing may not get a third installment; Wreck-it-Ralph is getting a lot of positive buzz.

Let’s look at a little bit of Hunter’s first comment again:

It’s going to surprise a lot of people for what it is and what it’s not.

For what it’s not, as well as what it is?

My reading of that, and it’s not based on anything more than trying to fit all of these pieces together, is that Hall is working on some kind of crossover with Marvel, but it’s not an adaptation of an actual comic book or character that already exists. The comment makes sense if it’s an all-new Marvel movie, created in collaboration with Disney.

That would surprise for what it is – a Disney-Marvel superhero film – and also for what it’s not – a known Marvel property.

So, there you have it. A couple of breadcrumbs, but they do come from the big table. Add salt if you feel the need, and do remember that we’re a long way out from this film, even if it does make its way through the arduous obstacle courses Disney set in front of their green lights.