Hailee Steinfeld and Tavi Gevinson ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland

Disney's Big Thunder Mountain Ride Is Being Turned Into A Movie

This could be the next Pirates of the Caribbean.

by Ani Bundel
Originally Published: 
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When Disney first announced Pirates of the Caribbean, the idea of a movie based on a theme park ride seemed dicey at best, but obviously, it turned into a wildly popular franchise. The success of Pirates has thus far only been replicated by Jungle Cruise. Others, such as Tomorrowland and The Country Bears, have more or less flopped. However, the latest idea heading to the big screen looks like it could be a significant success, with Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain landing the directing a top-tier directing team.

Most Disney fans who have been to the parks will know the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster, as the attraction has been part of the Disneyland park in California since 1979 and in Orlando’s Magic Kingdom since 1980. With its oversized stone mountain silhouette, it’s one of the most recognizable roller coasters of the historic Disney set.

The roller coaster is set on the fictional Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the central point of a mining town where gold is discovered. Each has a different name depending on the park; the original in Disneyland is Rainbow Ridge. (Orlando’s is called Tumbleweed.) It has an 1880s-style Western theme, and the structure looks like Disney built it from the Utah red rock canyon area. However, the mountain was a sacred spot to local Native Americans and it was cursed after the surge of white settlers desecrated it. After a tragedy (an earthquake in California’s Rainbow Ridge, a flood in Orlando’s Tumbleweed), it becomes a ghost town where the trains run on their own.

So, how much of this will make it into the movie? Here’s everything to know so far.

Big Thunder Mountain Filming Updates

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The directing duo of Bert and Bertie — real names Amber Templemore-Finlayson and Katie Ellwood — are helming the film, which is a good sign, since they also directed three episodes of Disney+’s Marvel series Hawkeye. The married writing duo Kieran and Michele Mulroney, best known for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, is charged with writing the script.

Big Thunder Mountain Cast

As of right now, no cast is attached to the project. However, the key to Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise’s success was putting a tentpole celebrity as the personality the films were built around. The charisma of the central star drove the movie to the point that the plot didn’t matter all that much. Chances are, Bert and Bertie have someone in mind, but until that person is contracted, nothing else about the film will probably move forward.

Big Thunder Mountain Release Date and Trailer Predictions

No release date has been set for the film. That said, Disney had laid out the dates it plans to release films through 2024, so this could be eyed as the summer tentpole release for July 5, 2024.

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