EXCLUSIVE: After Toy Story 3 cracked the billion dollar worldwide gross mark and got a Best Picture nomination for Disney, I’m told the studio is making moves to pair stars Tom Hanks and Tim Allen in Jungle Cruise, the live action film inspired by the venerable Magic Kingdom theme park ride. The studio has hired Roger S.H. Schulman to write a script that’s being produced by Mandeville’s David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, who themselves are coming off a Best Picture nomination for The Fighter. No director yet, I’m told.
Schulman has written on such films as Shrek and Jungle Book 2. Disney has been trying to get Jungle Cruise out of dry dock for several years, but the combination of Hanks and Allen in a family film makes this the equivalent of an E-ticket for a family-themed film. Hanks just direct Larry Crowne, starring with Julia Roberts and producing with Playtone partner Gary Goetzman. Hanks also is attached to another family film project based on the Mattel toy Major Matt Mason, which Playtone is also producing at Universal. CAA reps Hanks.
Allen is returning to TV for the first time since Home Improvement. The new pilot will shoot in April for ABC, through Fox Studios. WME and Messina/Baker. Paradigm and Rain Management rep Schulman.