Dwayne “Don’t call me The Rock” Johnson has signed on to the Disney remake of Escape to Witch Mountain. What has happened to Johnston as of late? He has a promising career in medium level Hollywood action flicks. Even his turn in Gridiron Gang wasn’t bad. But now he’s going from one Disney family comedy (The Game Plan) to another Disney family comedy. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I’m sure Disney movies offer a big paycheck. But how are we supposed to take The Rock seriously as an action hero if he’s doing all these kiddie flicks? Is that partly what hurt Arnold Schwarzenegger’s persona/career?
And it doesn’t help that the guy who made She’s the Man and a 2003 direct to video movie titled Who’s Your Dady? is attached to direct Witch Mountain. In all fairness, Andy Fickman did made Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, a nice little musical comedy which I caught at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and was shortly after dumped on Showtime (Kristen Bell and Neve Campbell star). Flickman also directed The Game Plan, which sort of explains how The Rock may have became involved with this project.
The original Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) was based on the sci-fi novel by Alexander Key. The movie followed two mysterious orphan children who have extraordinary powers and are chased by a scheming millionaire with plans to exploit them. The film spawned one sequel (Return from Witch Mountain in 1978), one spin-off tv movie (Beyond Witch Mountain in 1982) and was remade for tv in 1995. I vaguely remember loving the film during my early childhood, but IMDB’s 6.0 rating makes question my childhood judgement.