We’re just a couple weeks now from finally seeing actress Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited and repeatedly delayed solo outing as Natasha Romanoff in Marvel’s Black Widow, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for some additional ScarJo/Disney news first. The two-time Oscar nominee and upcoming recipient of the 35th American Cinematheque Award will reportedly produce and star in a film adaptation based on the iconic Disney ride Tower of Terror, according to Collider. The film would be written by Toy Story 4 director and Inside Out writer Josh Cooley, and does not have a director its own attached. Johansson, meanwhile, would be producing through her own company These Pictures.
The Tower of Terror rides can be found at several Disney parks around the world, but first opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Disney World in Orlando, Florida in 1994. Themed with vintage Twilight Zone spookiness, and a voiceover that approximates Twilight Zone host Rod Serling, the ride is structured around a free-fall elevator drop and subsequent opportunities to buy a photo of oneself screaming in terror. Narrative-wise, there’s perhaps less material here for a feature film than in the likes of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, but that’s never stopped Disney before, has it? In fact, Tower of Terror was already turned into a now-forgotten 1997 TV movie with Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst. This version has been in development since 2015, meanwhile, and was reportedly originally written as a story about “five people in a posh hotel who take an elevator and disappear after it’s hit by lightning.” It’s unclear if any portion of this story remains in the script as it exists today, but it seems reasonable to assume that the final film would carry a PG-13 rating, the same as the Pirates series.
Johansson has had quite a busy few years, starting with the culmination of the MCU’s entire Infinity Gems arc, and including Oscar nominations for both Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit. In addition to her Disney projects, Johansson is also slated to star with Taron Egerton in the remake of Little Shop of Horrors, in addition to reprising her role as the voice of porcupine Ash in Sing 2. At the same time, Johannson is also producing via These Pictures, on films such as A24 and Apple’s Bride.
We’ll bring you more news on this Tower of Terror project, meanwhile, as it arrives.