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The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise proved to the Walt Disney Company that there is big money in making film adaptations of their most popular theme park attractions, so they are getting ready to try it again. The studio has now begun work on It's A Small World, a new movie based on the multi-cultural themed ride found in parks around the world, and they have hired director Jon Turteltaub to helm it.
Turteltaub has a long history of the studio filled with some big hits - including the National Treasure series - but his last effort for Disney was a bit of a disaster:
The Sorcerer's Apprentice cost a whopping $150 million, but wound up being a huge flop domestically. The movie was somewhat saved by the foreign grosses, but certainly not enough to make the film considered successful. The filmmaker had some better luck with his most recent film. Last Vegas, which was released in November 2013, didn't really get a positive response from critics, but it did manage to pull in $134 million world wide on a $28 million budget. It helps to keep costs down and hire a cast that includes Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline.
Deadline, which broke the news of the developing It's A Small World project, notes that today is actually the 50th anniversary of the ride's debut. Sadly the article makes no mention of what genre the movie will fit into, but adds that the studio sees the property as a potential franchise. Jared Stern, whose credits include movies like Bolt, The Princess and the Frog, Mr. Popper's Penguins, The Watch, Wreck-It Ralph and The Internship, is penning the screenplay.
In case you're like me and have never actually been on the It's A Small World ride, hit play below and take the virtual tour:
What kind of movie can you make out of that? Knowing Turteltaub, I'm willing to bet it ends up being some kind of globe spanning adventure flick.
As of now there is no timetable for It's A Small World to come together, as the project is still very much in the earliest stages of development. Even Deadline notes that it "will take awhile to come together." We'll have to wait and see if it actually happens or if it will go the way of Jon Favreau's Magic Kingdom.