When Jon Favreau first announced that he wouldn’t be returning to direct Iron Man 3, he noted that he’d be devoting his time instead to developing his directorial feature Magic Kingdom. Not much was known about the film other than the fact that it centers on a family inside “the Disneyland theme park in which attractions and characters come to life.” That was late 2010 when Favreau became attached, and aside from an update last summer revealing that Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon was coming aboard to work on the script, news on the Magic Kingdom front has been very, very quiet.
Favreau just recently entered talks to direct an adaptation of the stage musical Jersey Boys in what will likely be his next film, so many were left wondering what exactly happened to Magic Kingdom. The director has now given a reassuring update on the project, adding that he’s actually getting a bit of help from the folks at Pixar. Hit the jump for much more, including story details.
During an interview with Crave Online, Favreau explained that his last three projects—Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Cowboys & Aliens—all had release dates before he even started pre-production, so with Magic Kingdom he’s been taking it slow. Moreover, he’s been getting story and script input from the incredibly talented “Brain Trust” over at Pixar:
“What we’ve been doing is writing a script, going up to Pixar, meeting with the brain trust, coming back down, bringing on artists, story editors and putting it together as though it were an animated film so that by the time we actually film it, we’ll have a rock solid story,” Favreau continued. “I don’t want to rush anything. I want this thing to be perfect. I want it to be one shot one kill, like a sniper. I want to make sure this movie’s right in the crosshairs that we can really knock it out of the park so to speak.”
The director was quick to point out that Magic Kingdom is not a Pixar film (it’s still a Disney production) but the “kings of story” over at the animation studio are providing some helpful insight throughout the development process. This isn’t dissimilar to how Pixar director Andrew Stanton prepped his Disney-produced live-action debut John Carter, also co-written by Chabon. In addition to talking about the prep work being done on the script, Favreau revealed a bit more about the story for Magic Kingdom:
“It’s going to be a family in the park. It’s an alternate reality version of the park that they get launched into. So much of it is just how it weaves together as a tapestry and what the visuals look like in creating this rich world. It’s informed by everything that I remember and know about the park from going there since I was a small child.”
The director added that the tone harkens back to his earlier films like Elf and Zathura, but the project is really “calling upon everything [he’s] learned up to this point,” mentioning both Iron Man and Cowboys & Aliens. He reiterated that there’s no rush on the film, which I assume means he’ll be directing Jersey Boys before he starts principal photography on Magic Kingdom.
It’s nice to see that he’s so enthused about the adventure pic, and definitely reassuring to know—especially in an environment where films start production before the script is even finished—that he’s focused on getting the script and story hammered out well before the cameras roll.