David Gordon Green is stepping away from Haddonfield and into the Happiest Place on Earth. Green’s Halloween Kills is due out this week, but the director has signed on to helm a movie for Disney+ about Walt Disney‘s journey to building Disneyland.
Evan Spiliotopoulos – who has a history with such Disney projects as The Jungle Book 2, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, and the live-action reboot of Beauty And The Beast – is set to write the script, which producer Jason Reed reportedly spent a year developing the pitch before bringing it to Disney.
Disneyland opened in 1955 and is the only Disney theme park built under the supervision of Walt himself. He bought a 160-acre site near Anaheim in 1953, and broke ground in 1954. Disney’s inspiration for Disneyland included Henry Ford’s Museum and Greenfield Village, which itself contained a similar Main Street and steamboat rides.
The New York’s World Fair of 1939 was also a big influence. Disney teamed up with ABC, with the network co-financing the park and creating a show titled Disneyland, which eventually became the name of the park. It was originally set to be called the Mickey Mouse Park.
Obviously this makes complete sense as a Disney project. The studio is always looking to tout the “magic” of its brand, and it’s actually surprising a film about the creation of Disneyland hasn’t already been made. The last film to depict Walt Disney was 2013’s Saving Mr. Banks, about his pursuit of the Mary Poppins IP from reluctant author P.L. Travers.
This is also extra content for Disney+, which has already become a major part of the studio’s profits despite only existing for about a year.
Despite Halloween Kills arriving this week – and sequel Halloween Ends already shot – it’s not surprising that Green would take a gig like this. He’s always been an eclectic filmmaker, jumping from small budget indies, to star-driven comedies, to horror, and now into the family genre. He’s had success in each genre he’s tackled, so there’s a solid bet he’ll do another good job here.
Halloween Kills opens on Friday.