One of the best rides at Disney World in Orlando is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror over at MGM Studios. The ride, opened in 1994, sees you go through a hotel (with lots of Twilight Zone knick-knacks) before going into an elevator that plummets and shoots up and high speeds.
Well, it looks like Disney are looking to repeat their Pirates of the Caribbean success and make a movie based on that ride. The Tracking Board are reporting Jim Whitaker will be producing the movie, which is based off a treatment by Tim Burton collaborator John August.
Plot details are kept hush, but I’m hearing that the new take is very much in the vein of Burton’s style, presenting a more fun than scary family adventure a la The Goonies or ET, though retaining the inherent spookiness of the premise and injecting Burton-esque creepiness. The subject matter is very much in August’s wheelhouse, as the Frankenstein scribe is currently penning CBS Films’ Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, based on the popular children’s book series.
While Disney have had success developing movies based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, they didn’t find happiness in their films based on The Haunted Mansion and more recently Tomorrowland.
The ride is famous for not having the same pattern twice, as a computer randomly assigns the up and down movements before getting on the ride. It also features narration from Twilight Zone creator and presenter Rod Serling, despite being opened nearly 20 years after his death, borrowing sound bites from episodes like It’s a Good Life from season two. Tower of Terror was turned into a 1997 TV-movie that ignored all of the Twilight Zone tie-ins. With a Twilight Zone movie in Development Hell, it’s likely that this new version of Tower of Terror will follow a similar path.