The Disinside – We have learned that Taika Waititi has signed on to direct Disney’s Tower of Terror movie, which has Scarlett Johanson (Black Widow) attached as a producer. The director boarded the project earlier this year, but when the Johanson v. Disney news surfaced it was unknown what happened to the Tower of Terror project and those involved. However, Johanson and Disney settled and The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the project was still in the works. What we hear is Waititi is still aboard the project.
Academy Award-winner Josh Cooley (Toy Story 4, Inside Out) has penned the script. Although details are currently under wraps, the film will be based on the famous and widely popular Walt Disney World attraction of the same name. As of now, it is unknown if Johanson or Waititi will star in the project.
Disney previously tried its hand at a film about the ride in 1997 with the titular made-for-TV movie. Steve Gutenberg and Kirsten Dunder starred. Back in 2015, Disney tried launching a Tower of Terror movie with John August (Corpse Bride) writing the script, and Jim Whitaker (Peter Pan and Wendy) producing, but the project ultimately was shelved.
Disney attraction-based movies have been a massive success for Disney starting with Pirates of the Caribbean. The five films in the franchise have grossed over $4.5B at the worldwide box office, with a reboot starring Margot Robbie on the way. Earlier this year, Disney released Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, which grossed $213M worldwide to date in theaters (it also bowed on Disney+ with Premier Access) and finished fourth overall among the top domestic summer releases. A sequel is already in the works. The studio also recently began filming on the Haunted Mansion reboot starring LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson, and Danny DeVito.
Taika Waititi has become a mainstay for The Walt Disney Company. For Disney, he was a screenwriter for Moana. Over at Marvel Studios, he directed the post-credits scene in Doctor Strange, and he directed Thor: Ragnarok, in which he also played Korg and provided motion capture for Surtur and Hulk. He reprised his role as Korg in Avengers: Endgame and What If…?. He recently completed filming on Thor: Love and Thunder. Over at Searchlight Pictures he directed, wrote, and produced Jojo Rabbit, his next movie for the studio Next Goal Wins debuts next year. In addition, he played Antwan in Free Guy. At Lucasfilm, he directed episodes of The Mandalorian, in which he also played the role of IG-11, and is set to direct a currently-untitled Star Wars film.