ABC is moving forward, if not at the pace of a runaway train, for its Big Thunder Mountain Railroad TV project. On Jan. 29, Entertainment Weekly reported executives of Disney-owned network have ordered a pilot for "Big Thunder."
The update provides detail about ABC’s loose adaptation of the Disney theme park ride, which was first announced in November of last year. As Disney fans know, "Big Thunder" takes its name from the Disneyland theme park attraction; the mine train ride has variations at other Disney parks.
According to EW, which posted the TV show’s logline, "Big Thunder" will be a period drama with elements that suggest suspense or perhaps even a "Lost" vibe. The show's title refers to the town.
“When a brilliant, late 19th century New York doctor and his family are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relocate to a frontier mining town run by a powerful, but mysterious tycoon, they quickly realize that not everything in Big Thunder is as it seems.”
Jason Fuchs ("Ice Age: Continent Drift") will write “Big Thunder,” with Chris Morgan ("Fast & Furious") on board to executive produce.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is not the first theme-park attraction Disney has adapted for the screen. Notably, the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction has become a movie franchise in in its own right. Not only has Johnny Depp starred in four films as Captain Jack Sparrow, the character on other elements from the films have been incorporated back into the domestic versions of the dark water ride.
In addition, several other Disney attractions have inspired movies that were released or had been or are still in development: Haunted Mansion, The Country Bear Jamboree, Mission to Mars, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
A movie based on Magic Kingdom, the theme park that is part Walt Disney World Resort, is also in development. Director Jon Favreau and writer Michael Chabon are attached to that project.
And just a few days ago, Walt Disney Studios officially changed the name of its mysterious "1952" movie – which is being directed by Brad Bird and stars George Clooney – to "Tomorrowland." Plot details for that movie have yet to be revealed.