Taking cues from the successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Disney is developing an adventure film inspired by the Matterhorn ride and has tapped Jason Dean Hall (Spread, as well as the upcoming Robin Hood 2058 and sci-fi actioner Blacklight) to write the script, according to THR. Justin Springer (Tron Legacy, Prom) is producing the project, which carries a working title of The Hill.
The elaborate Matterhorn ride, also known as the Matterhorn Bobsleds, opened in June of 1959 and is part of Disneyland’s Fantasyland section. The ride was reportedly inspired by Walt Disney’s desire for a toboggan-themed roller coaster, as well as an extended trip to Switzerland, location of the famed namesake mountain. An upgrade in 1978 brought with it the addition of three automatronic Abominable Snowmen (aka Yetis) which growl at riders.
The idea behind The Hill is to do a thrilling, fast-paced movie centering on five young adventure seekers who, for mysterious reasons, are called to the top of the mountain and encounter a Yetis on the journey down.
Adapting Disney rides into film franchises is now a priority after the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. A movie was adapted from the Haunted Mansion, and another is being developed with Guillermo del Toro producing. The theme park ride 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was developed from a Disney film, and is now being rebooted as a David Fincher directing vehicle. The ultimate theme park movie might be Disney’s Magic Kingdom, which is set entirely in the park. That project is being developed by writer Michael Chabon and director Jon Favreau.