Of all the recent announcements about live-action adaptations of classic Disney animated films (and there have been a lot, some eight in the last two months) this one is maybe the strangest; the House of Mouse has decided to take their 1940 classic Fantasia, or rather, a portion of Fantasia, and turn that 11 minute segment into a full live-action feature film. The segment in question is “Night On Bald Mountain”, named after the music of 19th-century Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, which the entire segment is set to.
“Night On Bald Mountain” centered on a dark winged demonic creature who was literally the size of a mountain, who raised spirits from the dead. The spirits then dance, fly around through the air and enjoy a night of mayhem until they are forced to retreat as the night ends and the sun begins to rise. Although the winged creature seems to be a representation of Satan, he’s actually a demon with the awesome name Chernabog. Even if you’ve never seen Fantasia, Disney has recycled this segment as part of various Halloween-themed specials over the decades, making the imagery from this segment familiar to almost everyone.
Disney has hired Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless to write the script for the project, which is still in its early stages. The duo wrote the script for Universal’s Dracula Untold last year, and along with writer Cory Goodman, they wrote the screenplay for The Last Witch Hunter, the upcoming action-adventure fantasy starring Vin Diesel. Night On Bald Mountain is looking to follow in the vein of Maleficent, so expect a script where we find out that Chernabog isn’t really evil, just misunderstood.