Stuff of Legend & Disney’s Hunt for Male Demo

Disney for the last 5 years or so has been doing everything it can to get it’s hands on the elusive young male demographic.  You know those guys that go see explosion the movie, or play Call of Duty: Future War (that’s a good idea for a game and I want full credit).   They made Prince of Persia and Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and those were both terrible bombs.  Then they went and bought Marvel, and rebranded Toon Disney to be more of a young males network, somehow turned Tron: Legacy into a 400 million worldwide earner, and made Avengers the most awesome popcorn film maybe ever made.  Despite the bombing of John Carter, they are now playing with house money and can take some chances.

The graphic novel The Stuff of Legend, I have not read, but it sounds like the perfect project for Disney to adapt into film.  It centers on a young boy, who in the 1940’s gets dragged into “scary Narnia” by The Boogeyman.  His dog and his toys then go into that realm called “The Dark” to rescue him.  When they enter that realm however, they transform into larger more threatening, weaponized versions of themselves.  Like I said I have not read the book, but I will probably pick it up this week, cause this sounds like the kind of dark stuff that Hollywood has shied away from over the years.  In the right hands this can be something special.  In the wrong hands however this can be a nightmare.

Disney wants their young male Alice in Wonderland, which is fine, because that movie made over a billion dollars, but I just hope they find the right people to bring this world to life.  Pete Candeland is currently attached to direct, with a script from Shawn Christensen.  This can be a good or a bad thing.  Candeland has never done live-action, and has mostly worked as an animator on Disney tv, or direct to video projects in addition to directing music videos for Gorillaz.  So he’s not quite polished for live-action, but neither was Brad Bird when he did Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. Yes I know that the skill we saw from Bird far outweighs anything of Candeland, but I’m not ready to say it’s a bad idea just yet.   The script makes me more nervous.  Christensen wrote Abduction, the bomb of a Taylor Lautner vehicle.  I don’t need to see that to know it’s bad, but I know it is.  However, maybe their passion will outweigh any perceived lack of skill in putting a quality film together.

My only request is that if and when Disney makes this film, they keep it away from Tim Burton.  I don’t want to see a “from the mind of Tim Burton” a “Tim Burton presents” or “Produced by Tim Burton.” There are many other people who can do dark and spooky seeming stuff.  If anything, I think this would be the PERFECT film for Guillermo Del Toro to produce.  I know he signed a deal years ago with Disney to help produce a series of animated films, and while I don’t even know if that deal is still in effect, I think Disney would be smart to try and get him on board for this.  Imagine all the cool things he could give hand-eye’s to!

I’m cautiously optimistic, but I say to Disney GO GET THOSE BOYS!  <—–That sounds weird…

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3 thoughts on “Stuff of Legend & Disney’s Hunt for Male Demo

  1. Dunn says:

    The Stuff of Legends sounds awesome and totally agree with you about Tim Burton and Guillermo Del Toro. Russ, have you seen ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’? If not, see it as soon as possible. It’s about the time in the 80s where Disney was really struggling and putting stuff out like ‘The Black Cauldron’, basically going darker and trying to get the young male demo, but totally failing. It is amazing to see a time when Disney was doing everything wrong, but was able to pull itself together with juggernauts like ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘The Lion King’. Seriously give the flick a look, it is way more honest than you would expect coming from Disney.

  2. peter says:

    Really agree with the Tim Burton point. Creepy for kids can be done by many. Really hope paranorman does well.

    I’ve never read stuff of legend but it is a pretty looking book

  3. johnnytigs says:

    I’ll be picking up Stuff of Legend now as well. Also you forgot “A Tim Burton Joint”

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