With TRON: Legacy set to open on December 17th, people are getting jazzed about light-cycle races. Disney is hoping that excitement carries over to their new futuristic racing thriller, Hovercar 3D. Based on an online serial from Australian author Matthew Reilly, Hovercar 3D was optioned by Disney back in 2004. They’re hoping to slap a franchise tag on the property and fill the void left by the conclusion of the Harry Potter series when it ends next year.
The plot, which centers around a young hover car pilot who must use his racing skills off the track to escort a government informant, is being converted for the big screen by screenwriter Blaise Hemingway (The Bracelet). Al Gough and Miles Millar (I Am Number Four) are also involved, according to Reilly’s website. Hit the jump for a further synopsis.
A SPORT LIKE NO OTHER
In the world of the near future, the most popular sport in the world is hover car racing. Superfast and dangerous, its heroes are the racers: part fighter pilot, part race-car driver, all superstar.
A BRUTAL QUALIFYING SCHOOL
But to get to the Pro Circuit, you must first pass through the International Race School, a brutal cauldron of wild races on even wilder courses, where only the best of the best will survive.
JASON AND THE ARGONAUT
This is the story of Jason Chaser, a talented young racer selected to attend the Race School. He’s younger than the other students. He’s smaller. His trusty car, the Argonaut, is older. But Jason Chaser is no ordinary racer. And as he races against the best drivers in the world he will learn that at Race School winning is everything, that not everyone in this world fights fair, and that you never ever have any friends on the track.
Strap on your seatbelts and hold on tight because the pace of reading just went supersonic!
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that although Disney had no further comment on this project, interest in it has revved back up again. Maybe it’s because they want a 3D franchise that can churn out tons of associated merchandise and already has an established fan following. Or maybe it’s something purer, and they just like really sweet race scenes.
While the project sounds like a fun movie (who doesn’t love F-Zero?), the stories have drawn such comparisons as “TRON meets Harry Potter,” mostly for the fact that there are futuristic races (that would be the TRON part) and the stories center around kids and teenagers that go on serialized adventures (and now you’ve got your Harry Potter). In my opinion that’s lazy and focuses on the most minute details of each property, but let’s go with it! Here are some other possible mash-ups you may see in future coverage of Hovercar 3D:
Mad Max (Australian source material) meets Carpool (kids) meets Blade Runner (futuristic)
Or maybe, Fast and the Furious meets The Chronicles of Narnia. I’d pay to see that one.