Disney is returning to Witch Mountain once again. A pilot based on the iconic sci-fi franchise has been greenlit for Disney+, starring Bryce Dallas Howard in the lead role. In addition to Howard, also joining the cast are Isabel Gravitt, Levi Miller, Bianca “b” Norwood, and Jackson Kelly. The original film spawned five different projects for Disney, starting way back in 1975.
You can read the official synopsis for the Witch Mountain Disney+ pilot below:
The series is “a modern reinvention of the cult classic that takes place in the shadow of “Witch Mountain,” following two teens that develop strange abilities and discover their sleepy suburb may not be as idyllic as it seems.”
The original Escape to Witch Mountain, based on the 1968 novel, focused on kids with special powers who discovered they had an alien lineage. The first film became a rare hit for the studio at a time when they were struggling with theatrical releases. A 1978 sequel followed, Return to Witch Mountain. Later, a made-for-TV third chapter, Beyond Witch Mountain, came along in 1982. In the ’90s, a remake was made, again for television. The last time there was a Witch Mountain project was back in 2009. This was when Disney made a theatrical legacy sequel, Race to Witch Mountain, which starred Dwayne the Rock Johnson. That version didn’t result in any more follow-ups.
In the Disney+ Witch Mountain pilot, Howard will play “Audrey.” According to a release, she is “Tia’s devoted and loving mother. Her husband died from a mental illness, and she tries to reassure a fretful Tia that she shows no sign of following her father’s dark spiral. A warm mama bear type, but like everyone in this town, not everything is as it seems.” The other new roles include troubled teens with powers and more.
Interestingly, this version of Witch Mountain is only being greenlit as a pilot and not a straight-to-series order like most Disney+ projects these days. Especially those that are based on legacy content like Witch Mountain. It does feel like a no-brainer for Disney to continue this franchise in some form, though. It has teens with telekinetic powers, alien mysteries, and small towns hiding secrets. All of these things sound like perfect ingredients for a sci-fi series geared towards the YA crowd. No better place than on Disney+ for this franchise to thrive.