The scrapping of the costly tentpole “Mouse Guard” was just the start of Disney’s gutting of 20th Century Fox’s film development and preproduction slate.
A new report at THR indicates Disney studio chief Alan Horn is culling further projects. As previously reported, Paul Greengrass’ drama “News of the World” and an adaptation of Angie Thomas’ best-seller “On the Come Up” were both put into turnaround and were subsequently snagged by Universal and Paramount respectively.
Now Ted Melfi’s mental-hospital-set dramedy “Fruit Loops” which was to star Woody Harrelson is also likely to be put in turnaround (which effectively means cancelling the project and putting what they’ve developed up for sale).
Sources for the trade say “Mouse Guard” was out due to it being too expensive for a nonfranchise film, while “On the Come Up” was scrapped because the critically acclaimed “The Hate U Give” underperformed.
The only guaranteed safe films are the “Avatar” sequels with the second one finishing filming last week. Five others are likely to go ahead: “Kingsman: The Great Game,” “Fear Street,” “West Side Story,” “Free Guy” and “Death on the Nile”.
However even those five are under increased scrutiny with Horn questioning the plan to have young characters smoking onscreen in “West Side Story”. It’s also tipped that Clint Eastwood’s “The Ballad of Richard Jewell” will likely be the first Fox greenlight of the new era.
Separately The Observer reports that one other likely safe film is “Artemis,” the new project from Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”) and based on “The Martian” author Andy Weir’s 2017 novel. The story takes place in the late 2080s and is set on the first and only city on the moon.