If you’ve ever been traveling, you know just about every state has a museum of the weird and wild somewhere along its roads. Except, of course, for the great city of Austin, Texas, which is proud to be weird everywhere all year round. Still, if anyone could pull off the mother of all weird museums, it would most likely be Disney. And a little help from Frank Zappa’s son wouldn’t hurt either.
According to the LA Times Disney is in discussions for a movie based on the museum with screenwriter Ahmet Zappa.
A half-century ago, well-known Disney theme park creators Rolly Crump and Claude Coats designed the “Museum of the Weird” with the idea of spotlighting a parade of ghostly organists, magic carts, talking chairs and other surreal exhibits. Walt Disney wanted to use the museum as an adjunct to the Haunted Mansion, complete with its own restaurant. But the museum was never built, though some of the more ambitious pieces were incorporated into the mansion itself.
Zappa’s idea is for the museum to be refashioned as a film — given the kinds of whimsical creations Crump and Coats planned, it’s hard not to think of Night at the Museum or The Mummy — with an attraction to follow. It’s still in very early development, though, so don’t expect it in multiplexes anytime soon.
Under its new leadership Disney seems to be taking a two-pronged approach to movies. It’s getting into business with top-tier filmmakers (add David Fincher and Tim Burton to Del Toro and Favreau) even as it’s putting chips down on seemingly as many theme park attractions as possible and trying to merchandise more than ever. The net effect: a studio slate that’s a strange combination of stubbornly visionary and explicitly marketing-driven.
Look for more weirdness soon.
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