jon favreau

Director Jon Favreau has been attached to direct Magic Kingdom for almost six years now. Since then, he’s made Cowboys & AliensChef, and the upcoming reimagining of The Jungle Book. For whatever reason, this Disney project continues to sit on the sidelines.

Favreau is still attached to the project, and according to him, if all goes well for The Jungle Book, we might finally see it happen. Read his brief but promising Magic Kingdom update below.

Magic Kingdom would show Disneyland coming to life, featuring the most iconic Disney characters interacting with each other. At one point, Favreau was even collaborating with Pixar on shaping the script, which he really wanted to take the time to get right. As Iron Man 2 proved, sometimes it’s better waiting for the right story than rushing to the finish line, so maybe the holdup on Magic Kingdom isn’t such a bad thing.

For years now, Favreau has been expressing his enthusiasm for the story:

Between the theme parks and the movies, the Disney iconography was probably the first set of archetypes that I was exposed to. Walt was able to expose me as a child to the full array of emotions, including fear and sorrow. Those movies and attractions haunted my dreams and made a deep impression on me as a child. When I first heard about the [‘Magic Kingdom’ film] project, I was on my way to visit Disneyland with my family. I took notes and had no problem filling a book with all the ideas that this concept offered, even on first blush. Since then, I was lucky enough to be given a tour of Imagineering by Tony Baxter, who knows just about everything there is to know about Disneyland. He pulled original concept art from the archives for me and exposed me to Walt’s original vision.

The project hasn’t shown many signs of life recently, but since Favreau is promoting The Jungle Book at the moment, he’s being asked about the project’s current status. In an interview with Collider, the director has this to say: 

Well, hopefully now with this collaboration, if it works out well, we can explore what Magic Kingdom could be. Magic Kingdom is a story I’ve been developing. Michael Chabon wrote the draft about Disneyland coming to life, and all of the different lands and attractions all overlapping one another and creating a big adventure that a family gets caught up in. It’s something I feel very passionate about. Part of the reason I explored this technology I used on Jungle Book is because I was considering it for that film, and maybe it might be something we work together on.

After The Jungle Book opens in theaters, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Magic Kingdom pick up some steam, because Favreau’s latest film is as delightful as the early reviews suggest. As the director says, his passion project could get a boost from The Jungle Book if it’s a success, and I’m confident it will be. It’s an exceptional piece of spectacle, full of imagination, heart, and a surprising amount of laughs the trailers aren’t showing you. Magic Kingdom, as a concept, would certainly benefit from the great sense of tone and spectacle that’s on display in The Jungle Book

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