Disney looks to yet another theme park attraction for cinematic inspiration, and has Frank Zappa’s son on hand to script it.
If you felt that basing a film off of a slow-moving theme park ride was a bit of a stretch, then you are in for a treat: Disney’s most recent theme-park movie pitch is based on an attraction where you sit in a dark room for twenty minutes and listen to the sweet song of robotic birds. The L.A. Times is reporting that The Walt Disney Studios is developing “an adventure film” inspired by Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Ahmet Zappa has written a script-because who better than Frank Zappa’s son to write it?-and Disney is sure to cross-promote the crap out of it.
To be fair, a spokesperson for Disney clarified that “the project is not an adaptation of the attraction and is merely an action-adventure that mixes in Polynesian mythology.” Zappa explicitly states that his script was inspired by the Tiki Room, though, so there’s bound to be both birds and Tiki gods aplenty. As The Times notes, “there’s not much known mythology behind the Tiki Room — but then again, there wasn’t much of one on “Pirates” either.”
Disney’s movie adaptations of theme park rides have enjoyed varied levels of success; Pirates of the Caribbean obviously did pretty well, while the Eddie Murphy vehicle The Haunted Mansion proved exactly as terrible as it sounded. While Disney has capitalized on the former, integrating the film’s characters and situations back into the ride that inspired the film, it has all but forgotten the existence of the latter, to the extent of producing a second adaptation, helmed by Guillermo del Toro, less than a decade after the first’s release (and subsequent failure).