Two-time Oscar nominee Scarlett Johansson will produce Disney’s Tower of Terror movie, which will be developed as a starring vehicle for the studio’s Black Widow actress, Collider has exclusively learned.
Toy Story 4 director and Inside Out scribe Josh Cooley is currently writing the script, though plot details are being kept under wraps somewhere on the tower’s top floor. Johansson will produce via her company These Pictures alongside Jonathan Lia, and though there’s no director formally attached yet, Disney will aim high, according to sources — especially since Johansson is coming off of dual Oscar nominations for her stellar work in Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit in addition to her high-profile turn in Marvel’s Black Widow.
Representatives for Disney and Johansson had no comment.
Tower of Terror is, of course, based on the popular Disney theme park attractions, which culminate with a free-falling elevator drop that results in some priceless photos. The exhilarating ride features a creepy narrator who sounds like The Twilight Zone host Rod Serling, and there were always long lines due to high demand from thrill-seekers. The ride was previously turned into a 1997 TV movie starring Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst, though a new theatrical feature has been in development since 2015, when John August was tapped to write a treatment about five people in a posh hotel who take an elevator and disappear after it’s hit by lightning.
Following the global success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Disney has been eager to turn its most beloved theme park rides into movies, and I imagine Tower of Terror will be developed with a PG-13 rating in mind, just like all of the Pirates movies and the upcoming Jungle Cruise movie starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. The movie is, after all, called Tower of Terror. As far as movies based on Disney rides go, only Tomorrowland was rated PG, and that one underperformed at the box office. Disney-owned ABC also made a TV pilot based on the Thunder Mountain ride back in 2013, but it wasn’t ordered to series.
Johansson will soon be seen reprising her iconic role as Natasha Romanoff in her very own solo movie, Black Widow, which will be released simultaneously on Disney+ as well as in theaters on July 9. Johansson is also attached to star opposite Taron Egerton in WB’s new Little Shop of Horrors movie, and she’s due to reprise her voice role as the lovable porcupine Ash in Sing 2. On the producing side, Johansson’s company These Pictures is developing the drama Bride, which is in the works at A24 and Apple.
Meanwhile, It was announced earlier this week that Johansson will be the recipient of the 35th American Cinematheque Award this November, which is a major career honor. Johansson is represented by CAA, the law firm of Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner Endlich & Gellman, and True Public Relations, while Cooley is repped by CAA, Grandview and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.
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