Disney has set Jonathan Mostow to helm its remake of “Swiss Family Robinson.”
Pic will be produced by Mandeville’s David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman.
Mostow will take the script by Greg Poirier and rewrite it with Sam Montgomery, Mostow’s scripting partner on his first two directorial efforts, “Breakdown” and “U-571.”
Mandeville has been trying for a long time to figure out a way to retell the classic survival story of a family shipwrecked on an uncharted South Pacific island. The producer and studio considered putting the tale into a contemporary setting, but Buena Vista Motion Picture Group prexy Nina Jacobson suggested changing it back to the book’s 19th-century period after she watched the studio’s original pic.
“Mixing a classic period Disney film with an event-movie director like Jonathan is exactly the combination we were hoping for,” Lieberman said.
Said Hoberman: “It happens that this was Mostow’s favorite film as a child. That was the allure that got him interested. There is a lot of fantasy-fulfillment potential for kids.”
They hope to shoot in Australia next year. Disney senior veep Karen Glass is supervising.
Mostow takes the assignment at a time when he has several other major movies percolating. He plans to direct Will Smith as a superhero in existential crisis in “Tonight, He Comes,” for Columbia Pictures. Mostow is also awaiting a “Terminator 4” script from “T3” scribes Michael Ferris and John Brancato.
The “Swiss Family Robinson” story has been revisited by Hollywood many times since RKO’s 1940 feature version. Aside from Disney’s 1960 treatment, TV versions include a 1958 production with Patty Duke and a mid-’70s skein from Fox and Irwin Allen.
Sci-fi skein “Lost in Space” also was loosely based on the saga.