Could the Disney theme parks be the next potential location for a Lord of the Rings-themed attraction? We reported back in January and also in February that tongues were wagging about a possible Middle-earth theme park partnership between Warner Brothers and Universal. There was even documentation that the Saul Zaentz Company had registered “several uses for Middle-earth properties that includes theme parks.” But those rumors seemed to have fizzled.
Now it seems that, “Disney and Warner Brothers have either signed or are very close to singing an agreement that will bring “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movie-inspired areas to the Disney Parks.” WDW News Today is reporting that the partnership has been in the works since late last year and is now practically a fait accompli. The story claims that Disney may incorporate a Middle-earth attraction as part of an overhaul at the California Adventure park in Anaheim, CA. It also suggests that Disney may be looking for Hobbits to give them an edge over Hogwarts in order to compete with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter area at Universal Studio’s theme park.
WDW News today says, “As with any rumor, you should take this with a grain of salt until it is actually announced.” Is it likely that Disney would be able to overcome the hurdles that have hung up similar ventures? That they could overcome the long-held anti-Disney prejudice from within the Tolkien Estate itself? TORn staffer Demosthenes points out Tolkien’s Letter #13, where he famously insisted that he would “veto anything from or influenced by the Disney Studios (for all whose works I have a heartfelt loathing).”
Additionally, should the supposed negotiations be happening on the studio level, making an end-run around the Tolkien Estate, it seems unlikely that Warner Brothers would be keen to work together after Disney stole Oz out from under them when they released Oz the Great and Powerful earlier this year. “The Walt Disney Company did not own rights to the original 1939 The Wizard of Oz movie but moved stealthily to mount an audacious raid on the story and leave a rival studio flat-footed.”
But perhaps TheOneRing.net’s April Fools’ story this year was actually prescient and we will enter an era where Hobbit feet and Mouse ears can coexist in one big glorious theme park universe. Or maybe we’ll all just have to aspire to visit the real Hobbiton for a while longer.
[Read the original story here.]
RYNDELL writes: Saw several threads on various Disney chat sites recently…apparently Universal Studios has sent out surveys testing the waters for interest in a LOTR theme park, a la the “Harry Potter Wizarding World” they recently opened in Orlando. More..
Disney Teams Up With Acclaimed Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro to Create Animated Features With Chills and Thrills Under the New Label ‘Disney Double Dare You’
ANAHEIM, Calif., Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The Walt Disney Studios, in collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “The Hobbit”), is launching a new production label called Disney Double Dare You (DDY), to create new animated films full of chills and thrills for audiences of all ages, it was announced today at the D23 Expo by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. All films will be produced under the guidance of del Toro, who originated the concept and the design of DDY and who will also direct certain projects. The first project in development for the new label is called “Trollhunters,” an original del Toro story which he will produce. More.. Continue reading “For Guillermo, D = DISNEY!”
Late yesterday we received word about Orlando Bloom being cast as the lead in a movie adaptation of ‘The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time’ video game. Bloom fan Kathy and a few others let us know about an update on this story:
CinemaBlend: This story seemed to come out of nowhere, so after reading Ed’s report I shot a quick email to our contacts at Disney looking for confirmation. Their answer? “I can assure you that there is absolutely no truth to the rumors that have circulated today with regards to Orlando Bloom.”
From hollywood.com: HOLLYWOOD – Movie hunk Orlando Bloom has landed the lead role in Disney’s new Prince of Persia adventure trilogy, in a deal reportedly worth $40 million. The 31-year-old star of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has allegedly beaten competition from Zac Efron to take the top role in the big-screen adaptation of the popular computer game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The first movie in the trilogy, to be directed by Jerry Bruckheimer, is due to begin filming in July in Morocco.
From NYPOST.com: DISNEY execs are annoyed at a self-styled Persian prince who’s angling to beat out Orlando Bloom, Milo Ventimiglia and Zac Efron to star in “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time,” Jerry Bruckheimer’s movie version of the video game. David K. Zandi is suspected of circulating an official-looking “Worldwide Audience Poll” that shows him as the favorite of 17 million movie fans. “Most people are fascinated that a real Persian with royal lineage could be hired to play this role,” Zandi told a reporter. But a Disney rep said: “There is absolutely no truth [to the rumor that Zandi is being considered]. The speculation is self-created.”