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Disney High on Film Inspired by Matterhorn Ride

Hollywood mogul Sam Goldwyn had a litmus test for determining if a movie was a dog: If he squirmed in his seat, the movie stunk. The folks at Disney go in the opposite direction: They put their butts in a Disneyland ride and if they squirm, well, they’ll make it into a movie.

In the case of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ it worked remarkably well. The four films in the franchise have brought in $ 3.7 billion worldwide. A previous outing at cashing in on a ride, 2003’s ‘The haunted Mansion,’ while not a flop, wasn’t the blockbuter the studio had hoped for.

Now the studio is developing an adventure movie project inspired by the Disneyland Matterhorn attraction, a bobsled-type ride that opened in 1959 and has consistently been one of the park’s major attractions.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the idea behind he film, which has the working title ‘The Hill,’ is to do a fast-paced thriller about five young adventure seekers who are called to the top of the mountain and encounter a Yetis on the way down (three automatronic Abominable Snowmen — Yetis — who growl at riders, were added to the Matterhorn in 1978).

Jason Dean Hall (‘Spread’) has been tapped to pen the script.

Disney, of course, is not stopping here. They’re developing another ‘Haunted Mansion’ film with Guillermo del Toro, rebooting ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ — a Disney film turned into a ride — with David Fincher, and working on ‘Magic Kingdom,’ which is set in the park, with writer Michael Chabon and director Jon Favreau.

What would Sam think?

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