Disney wants to breathe new life into gargoyles.
Zoe Green is in final negotiations with the Mouse House to pen a screenplay based on an original idea developed by Lauren Shuler Donner, who will produce the live-action film for Disney.
The project is not tied to “Gargoyles,” the popular animated TV series that Disney produced in the 1990s, or a comicbook that was later produced by series creator Greg Weisman.
Instead, it centers around a world and mythology of the menacing stone statues that the studio was keen to explore, sources said. Both Disney and Shuler Donner were circling separate gargoyle projects and ultimately paired up and hired Green to tackle an idea hatched with Disney exec LouAnne Brickhouse, who is shepherding the project at the studio. Shuler Donner will produce through the Donners’ Co., which she runs with husband Richard Donner.
Project would fit in well with the high-profile projects Disney is looking to produce these days — films that can become franchises at the megaplex and spin off popular videogames, merchandise, TV shows and theme park rides.
In addition to new installments of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “National Treasure,” studio also is developing a take on “The Wizard of Oz” with Sam Raimi directing, and fable “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” with Peter Hedges helming. It also has a new film set to star the Muppets, a remake of “The Black Hole,” and is revisiting “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” with David Fincher, in addition to Tim Burton’s “Maleficent,” a live-action feature on the sorceress from “Sleeping Beauty” with Angelina Jolie circling.
A bigscreen version of the “Gargoyles” series was being developed in 1996 with Weisman, show producer Frank Paur and Dean Devlin. But the right take never received a greenlight.
Green has a penchant for penning fantasy fare. She’s written “Tigress” for Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, based on the Disney lot. Pic follows a woman who starts getting tiger-like instincts. Robert Teitel and George Tillman Jr. of State Street Pictures are producers on the project.
Scribe is also tackling the script for Syfy miniseries “The Diamond Age,” an adaptation of Neal Stephenson’s 1995 novel “The Diamond Age: Or a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer,” that George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing. She has also written for the animated series “Wolverine and the X-Men.”
Meanwhile, bringing gargoyles to life wouldn’t be all that strange for Shuler Donner. She’s been heading Fox’s “X-Men” franchise, whose pics have been packed with powerful mutants, since the first film bowed in 2000. She’s currently overseeing “X-Men: First Class,” that Matthew Vaughn is directing, “Deadpool,” set to star Ryan Reynolds, and “X-Men Origins: Magneto.”