Disney gets Thomas for ‘Christmas’ pic

Moving into the world of teen roles, 16-year-old Jonathan Taylor Thomas is in final talks to star in the romantic comedy “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas” for Walt Disney Pictures under Arlene Sanford’s direction, the studio confirmed Thursday.

Thomas would play the part of Roger, a Ferris Bueller-type prepschool upperclassman who is trying to stop his girlfriend from developing a new love.

Disney had the script rewritten from a twentysomething star vehicle to tailor it to Thomas as a senior in high school.

Pic is scripted by Tom Nursall and Harris Goldberg. David Hoberman will exec produce under his Mandeville Films banner. Disney is slating a production start for spring 1998.

Walt Disney prexy David Vogel and senior VP of production Bernie Goldman are the execs on the project.

Thomas, who just opened “Wild America,” has also appeared in “Man of the House,” “Tom & Huck,” “Pinocchio” and “The Lion King” as the voice of Simba.

“Christmas” marks Sanford’s sophomore outing as a feature director. She earned her feature stripes on “A Very Brady Sequel” for Paramount.

Thomas is repped by ICM agents Toni Howard and Tracy Brennan. Sanford’s deal was handled by ICM’s Richard Feldman.

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