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Since late 2010, Jon Favreau has been attached to direct Disney’s Magic Kingdom - a film where one of the company’s theme parks comes to life – but the project hasn’t exactly been barreling through the stages of production. Instead, things have moved along slowly, and the filmmaker has seen his attention turn towards other movies like Cowboys & Aliens, Chef, and The Jungle Book. Considering it’s been a minute since we’ve heard talk about the project, one might ponder whether it is still alive or if it still has a director attached… but wonder no longer! We recently spoke with Favreau, and confirmed that Magic Kingdom is still very much in the pipeline.
The press day for The Jungle Book was held this past weekend in Los Angeles, and when sitting down with Jon Favreau I took the opportunity to ask about the future of Magic Kingdom. While our conversation opened with a discussion of the new impressive technology employed on his latest film, the conversation turned towards his upcoming projects. Favreau explained that he is still excited by the prospect of making the fantasy blockbuster, but that the biggest thing holding the project up has been the wealth of huge movies that Walt Disney Pictures is set to release in the next few years. Said the director,
Yeah, I would love to do that. We have scripts for it. We’ve planned, we’ve done illustrations. The question really becomes about Disney, with the way that they’re working out their catalog of material.
Jon Favreau went further, noting that the other big live-action movies that Disney has been releasing – in addition to his own take on The Jungle Book - will wind up having an influence on what’s put together in Magic Kingdom. He commended his experience working with the studio, and certainly seemed eager to do it again:
They’ve really been doing a wonderful job, if you look at Maleficent and Alice [in Wonderland] and Cinderella, and now [The Jungle Book], of exploring how to expand upon the legacy of those animated films. And so I think seeing how it all fits together is going to inform a film like Magic Kingdom, where it’s the park coming to life and it overlaps a lot of these. And I don’t want it to… it’s not necessarily going to inform the underlying Disney universe. So I think there are a lot of things that have to be worked out. But I loved working on Jungle Book, I loved working with this tech, and with Disney. So hopefully we’ll find a way to work together some more.
You can watch Jon Favreau talk about the development of Magic Kingdom and the influence of the technology used on The Jungle Book in the video below:
So when will we actually get to see Magic Kingdom come to life? With a slate filled with titles from Marvel Studios, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Animation, and more in the next few years, it could still be a while, but it’s certainly a goal for Jon Favreau. Stay tuned for more updates about the project as it moves further into development.
In the meantime, you can see The Jungle Book in theaters on April 15th.