If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Walt Disney Pictures is in the early stages of pre-production on their next ride-to-film endeavor. They've snagged commercial director Brian Beletic and tasked him with his first big screen assignment: turning the popular Disneyland ride The Matterhorn into a blockbuster. The film's basic plot will revolve around a group of young explorers, with various skill sets, who are brought to the wilderness of the Pennine Alps in order to traverse one of the very last frontiers; snowboarding, skiing, and mountaineering ensues. The big feather in Beletic's cap at the moment is his direction of Nike's "Human Chain" campaign and his co-founding of the production company Smuggler. Beletic will be working from a script written by Jason Dean Hall ('Spread'). No word yet as to casting or when production might begin.
If this story had broken ten years ago, we'd have laughed in Disney's face. But after the enormous commercial success of 'The Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise, and the high quality of at least the first film, we can't write this off on principal. However, Disney does not have carte blanche when it comes to adapting their theme park rides to film, I think 'The Haunted Mansion' stands as powerful evidence of that. It also instills very little confidence that Disney refuses to hire an even remotely experienced director for this project. Is it too much to ask that the person they shove into the director's chair have at least one feature film under his/her belt? In addition to Beletic, they've also contracted Brain Farm Cinema, makers of the extreme snowboarding film 'Art of Flight,' as production consultants. Couple this with the fragment of a plot we've been given and it seems clear that Disney needs to decide if they're making a Matterhorn movie or just 'Extreme Ops 2.'
What do you guys think? Do you hold out any hope that this might be good?