Disney is making a movie about Disneyland


Talk about meta. Walt Disney (the studio) is developing a film about Walt Disney (the person) and his journey to build Disneyland (the Californian theme park). It will premiere on Disney Plus (the streaming service).

David Gordon Green (“Halloween Kills”) is directing the untitled film. Evan Spiliotopoulos, whose credits include Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and “Snow White and the Hunters,” writes the screenplay.

Dubbed “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland opened in the summer of 1955 in Anaheim. Although Disney Parks were later built in Florida, Paris, and other parts of the world, the California original is the only Disney theme park built under the direct supervision of the man whose name inspired the entertainment destination.

The Disney theme parks have been a rich source of material for the studio, with “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “The Haunted Mansion” and “The Jungle Cruise” among the attractions that have inspired the great movies. Not all theme park attractions turned into cinematic gold. (“Tomorrowland” with George Clooney, we’re watching you.) Conversely, some of Disney’s most popular movie franchises have paved the way for themed areas like Star Wars’s Galaxy’s Edge and Marvel’s Avengers Campus.

The upcoming film is not Disney’s first attempt to capture the triumphs and tribulations of Walt Disney. In 2013, the studio hired Tom Hanks to play its founder in “Saving Mr. Banks,” a biographical drama about the pursuit of the film producer and entrepreneur for land rights to Mary Poppins.

Cavalry Media is producing the film. Cavalry Media’s Dana Brunetti and Matt DelPiano will be the producers along with Jason Reed. Jessica Matthews will be executive producer. Allison Erlikhman will oversee for Disney Studios.

Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.


Herman C. Harkins

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