Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 by Angie Han
One of the unfortunate side effects of Jon Favreau‘s recent decision to direct a big-screen adaptation of Jersey Boys was the delay of Magic Kingdom, the theme park fantasy he’s been attached to for the past couple of years. But according to Favreau, that longer wait is actually a blessing.
In a new interview, the filmmaker assures fans that he’s still working on Magic Kingdom, and in fact has been collaborating with Pixar to develop the story. He also very reasonably points out that his last three movies were all done under pressure from deadlines — and as we know, that rushed timetable wasn’t always to the films’ benefit. Read his comments after the jump.
Favreau offered the Magic Kingdom update in a conversation with Crave Online. Plot specifics are still somewhat vague, but Favreau explained that the movie would follow a family who wind up in “an alternate reality version” of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park. The story’s also previously been described as a Disney take on Night at the Museum.
Though the film will “definitely [be] informed primarily by Walt’s vision of the park,” Favreau has also turned to Pixar for guidance on the movie.
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. 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.
Favreau’s careful to note that “as far as I know it’s a Disney production,” even though Disney’s “been very good about Pixar.” Still, a touch of the studio’s magic can only be a good thing.
[I've known] Lasseter for many years now. It’s our first time collaborating together but he’s opened up all the resources of Pixar. I’ve been up there a few times now and stayed up at the ranch. It’s just been a dream come true. Taking a tour of Pixar is special enough but to sit in a room and pitch to those people and hear their ideas, it’s very, very exciting.
Favreau seems to relish the extra time he has on his hands this time around, especially when he thinks back to his last few projects.
I went back to back to back with three movies in a row, Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, all of them with release dates announced as I walked in. As I cracked the script for the first time we already knew the date and the poster, in some cases the cast.
In contrast, there’s “no rush” on Magic Kingdom, which means he can take the time to get everything in order before starting production.
Fortunately there’s no rush on it. I’ve been working on it as a writer now and we’re looking forward to beginning that long lead prep as you would on an animated film. Then you work your way to where you know what the whole movie is going to be before you ever roll camera. You actually watch it as the Pixar people do and actually watch it on a screen and evaluate it before you ever roll camera.
If taking things slow makes Magic Kingdom a better movie — and I think Favreau’s made a pretty convincing argument that it will — I think I speak for most fans when I say I’m more than happy to wait. Head to Crave Online to read the rest of the interview.