Jon Favreau enters Disney’s ‘Magic Kingdom’

'Iron Man' helmer to develop family feature for studio

Disney has handed the keys to “The Magic Kingdom” to Jon Favreau.

The director will take the lead in developing the project, which is essentially the Mouse House’s answer to Fox’s “Night at the Museum” franchise.

As first reported by Daily Variety, Disney has been looking at creative ways to turn Disneyland into the setting for a family feature, similar to how the company has adapted individual theme park rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and the Jungle Cruise or an entire area of the park in the case of Tomorrowland.

The studio recently decided to shelve a script by Ronald Moore (“Battlestar Galactica”), based on his own pitch. A new writer will soon be hired to tackle a new idea that Favreau will help hatch.

Strike Entertainment’s Marc Abraham and Eric Newman will produce through their Universal-based shingle. Duo is readying to lense Andrew Niccol’s “Now,” a sci-fi thriller for New Regency and Fox.

Disney said the studio will take its time with the project as it will need to carefully address how its iconic characters and rides, let alone the overall image of the park, are handled for the bigscreen.

The company has visited the concept before, through Hyperion, which publishes Ridley Pearson’s similar-sounding kidlit series, “Kingdom Keepers,” in which a group of Florida teens are transformed into holographic guides at Disney World and battle Sleeping Beauty’s evil queen Maleficent as the park’s characters come to life.

Favreau is already busy prepping for “Iron Man 3,” which he will direct for Disney-based Marvel for summer 2013. He recently wrapped “Cowboys and Aliens” for DreamWorks and Universal.

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