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Disney's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Ride Is Getting The Movie Treatment

It joins a long line of ride-to-movie adaptations, including Jungle Cruise and The Haunted Mansion.

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Disney's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride is getting the movie treatment.
Melvyn Longhurst/The Image Bank Unreleased/Getty Images

Get ready to head to the Old West — Disney style. As reported by Deadline, the House of Mouse is hard at work turning another one of the Disney parks' most famous rides into a blockbuster movie. This time around, the western-themed Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the ride getting the big screen treatment, but details surrounding the movie's plot are still scarce at this point.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad may not be quite as popular as the kid-approved Space Mountain, but the ride has been around since 1979 when the rollercoaster made its debut in Disneyland. From there, it quickly became apparent the abandoned mining town-themed coaster was a hit with parkgoers, and versions of the ride were built in Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. While each ride is basically the same, the cause of the town's destruction (and the town's name) differs by location: in California, an earthquake ends the miners' prosperity; in Florida, a flood is the culprit; and in Tokyo, it's a Tsunami that brings about the residents' bad luck.

With so many different backstories, the movie and its newly named directors — Bert & Bertie (whose real names are Amber Templemore-Finlayson and Katie Ellwood) — have plenty of options when it comes time to devise the movie's plot. Ready to find out more about the future Disney blockbuster your kids will be begging you to go see? Read on for everything there is to know about the Big Thunder Mountain movie so far.

Who is the creative team behind the movie?

As confirmed by Deadline, the directing duo Bert & Bertie are in talks to direct the movie. They previously helmed several episodes of Hawkeye, The Great, and Our Flag Means Death. Additionally, they directed the big-hearted kids' movie Troop Zero starring Viola Davis and Allison Janney. Outside of Hawkeye, most of the projects the duo have worked on have been smaller, character-driven pieces, which means Big Thunder Mountain Railroad would be their biggest movie to date.

In addition to the directors, the movie also has secured its screenwriters: Kieran and Michele Mulroney. The married couple previously wrote Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and the 2017 Power Rangers film.

What is the Big Thunder Mountain ride's story?

Many Disney rides are based on existing properties like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) or Peter Pan (Peter Pan's Flight), but some of the most famed attractions have their own stories separate from Disney's cache of famous characters. These rides have led to movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and The Haunted Mansion (which is getting a movie reboot in 2023).

But Big Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion aren't the only rides getting Disney flicks in the near future. Here are a few other movies that are hitting the big screen soon also based on exciting Disney attractions.

  • Jungle Cruise 2 (release date TBD)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (With Margot Robbie)
  • Space Mountain (release date TBD)

Now, Big Thunder Mountain is set to follow in their footsteps, and it feels safe to say the rollercoaster has all the makings for an exciting movie. According to Disney's official description of the ride, it didn't take long for the mining town at the heart of the ride to become plagued by creepy events after the miners struck gold in the 1850s. That didn't stop the Big Thunder Mining Company from continuing to dig until disaster struck (as noted above, the disaster and the name of the town vary by location).

The ride itself doesn't lean into the haunted mining town angle as much as it enjoys playing with Old West tropes like careening through a mine on a rickety railroad while avoiding dynamite blasts, but it would make a terrific hook for a movie. Come on, what's more fun than old-timey ghosts and a potentially corrupt mining company? Throw in a curse, and you've got yourself a hit.

Who is in the Big Thunder Mountain cast?

Currently, the Big Thunder Mountain movie doesn't have any actors attached. But with Disney behind the production, you can bet there will be at least one big-name actor anchoring the project when casting gets underway.

When will Big Thunder Mountain be released?

It's far too early to speculate on a release date for the movie. Since Bert & Bertie are still in talks to direct the project, Big Thunder Mountain still has a long way to go before it careens its way onto the big screen. Depending on how quickly production gets underway, the earliest Disney fans can expect to see the movie would be 2024, although 2025 seems more realistic at this point.

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