|First of all, we should make it clear that we’re not talking about any Disney theme parks here. As far as we know, Disney has no plans to sell Mickey, Donald and the other inhabitants of the Magic Kingdom to anyone. Mummies, werewolves and vampires will not be stalking Cinderella’s castle anytime soon, nor will there be any Scorpion Kings on Thunder Mountain, we promise.|
No, instead Stephen Sommers has bought the rights to Terry Brooks’ comic-ish fantasy Magic Kingdom for Sale – Sold!. Published way back in 1986, the book followed a lonely lawyer, Ben Holiday, whose wife had recently died. Perusing an upmarket gift catalogue, full of things like glass bathtubs with goldfish in the walls, he comes across an advert for a magic kingdom for sale.
Intrigued, he finds himself signing up for more information – and before you know it he’s on a mailing list and drowning in junk mail. No, only kidding – he sets about buying the kingdom – but then finds out that there’s more to it than he bargained for, and he’s going to have to fight to stake his claim.
Screenwriters Lowell Ganz and (owner of the Best Name In Hollywood award) Babaloo Mandel are on the case, making it possibly the first films that Sommers has directed without also writing it. The story is likely to take elements from several of the six books in the series (the sixth is published this year), not just the first one, and apparently the film will give Ben two children. Never mind that it seems highly irresponsible to spend your entire fortune on some fairyland when you have two children to buy textbooks and braces for, and even less responsible when you’re riding into the unknown and possibly sorcerous. But, we suppose, given that this is a film about a court scribe who is also a dog, a dryad called Willow (no relation to Buffy’s favourite Wicca), gnomes, witches, demons and knights in shining armour, maybe irresponsible doesn’t come into it.
This won’t be coming for a while, as Sommers has to make Flash Gordon (ah-aaaaah! He’s incredible!) first. Still, now’s the time to catch up on the incredibly popular series of books before this comes out in 2007 or so.