ABC orders pilot based on Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad theme park ride

By Daniel S Levine,

Disney is still looking back at its theme park rides for inspiration. This time, though, instead of going to the big screen, Disney is looking to turn a ride into a TV show. On Tuesday, ABC ordered a pilot based on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the popular roller coaster in Disneyland and Disney World.

The project will be titled Big Thunder and is set in the late 19th century. Its plot features a New York doctor who moves his family to a mining town after a mysterious tycoon approaches him. Once he arrives, they soon learn that Big Thunder is just as mysterious.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Big Thunder’s crew includes writer Jason Fuchs (Ice Age: Continental Drift) and executive producer Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious). Morgan recently wrote the script to Keanu Reeves’ 47 Ronin and is working on The Legend of Conan.

This isn’t the only Disney project based on a theme park idea. Brad Bird and George Clooney’s 1952 was recently titled Tomorrowland. There’s also the successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Entertainment Weekly reports that ABC picked up three other pilots on Tuesday.

One is titled Gothica and comes from Race to Witch Mountain writer Matt Lopez. It’s a mashup of monster characters from several classic horror tales coming together. Writer Chris Black’s political drama Reckless was also picked up.

Finally, there’s Murder in Manhattan, which will be co-produced by Ryan Reynolds. The Maria Maggenti-written pilot will focus on a mother-daughter team of amateur detectives.



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