It's been awhile since we heard anything of Jon Favreau's Disney theme park set film Magic Kingdom. I've been wondering if the movie was still happening. After all, the filmmaker has been keeping himself busy with acting gigs, directing a couple of TV pilots, and is now committed to directing a big screen adaptation of Jersey Boys. Thankfully Magic Kingdom is alive and well, he's just taking his time developing it, which isn't a bad thing! He recently explained to Crave that the reason he's taking time on the project is because he can,
I went back to back to back with three movies in a row, Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, all of them with release dates announced as I walked in. As I cracked the script for the first time we already knew the date and the poster, in some cases the cast. On this one, Magic Kingdom is a big film. It’s a very special piece of intellectual property with all the characters from the park and the legacy of Walt Disney.
Basically he gets to build this film from the ground up, and he's in the process of perfecting the story with a little help from Pixar.
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.
You can't really argue with that. I think it's great that Favreau has the time to develop the perfect film that he wants! This is a rare thing in Hollywood these days, it seems like everything is being rushed and pushed out as fast as they can get it done. As far as the story goes, the director explains,
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.
Club 33 is something that we’ve been discussing. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the vulture in Club 33 as a character. There’s a lot of ideas swirling around now. I don’t know which ones are going to make it in but it’s definitely informed primarily by Walt’s vision of the park, even before and immediately after it opened. A lot of it for people our age there’ll be a nostalgic element to it. People who know Disneyland are going to see that we did our homework, but then it’s ultimately an adventure that’s going to be for the family and for the kids too. I had a lot of fun playing to that type of crowd with Elf and Zathura. This seems to be mixing elements from all the films I’ve done, from Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens, Zathura, Elf all rolled into one project that really is calling upon everything I’ve learned up to this point.
This sounds like it's going to be a ton of fun! I love that it's being treated like an animated film as well. The fact that the full story and all of the shots will be planned out before they start shooting the movie is pretty awesome. This is how I always felt movie productions should be. It eliminates a ton of problems that studios find themselves in when they start shooting without a completed script. World War Z is a perfect example of how things can go wrong when you're not prepared. Favreau goes on to say,
Fortunately there’s no rush on it. I’ve been working on it as a writer now and we’re looking forward to beginning that long lead prep as you would on an animated film. Then you work your way to where you know what the whole movie is going to be before you ever roll camera. You actually watch it as the Pixar people do and actually watch it on a screen and evaluate it before you ever roll camera.
It's going to be great to see how this movie turns out! Sure, we're going to have to wait awhile but in the end it's going to be worth it. What do you think about how Favreau is approaching Magic Kingdom? Do you like and agree with his filmmaking tactics?