"Swiss Family Robinson" is heading back to the big screen with Jonathan Mostow at the helm. Mandeville Films CEO David Hoberman and president Todd Lieberman are producing for Walt Disney Pictures.
The deal also includes an arrangement for Mostow to rewrite a script by Greg Poirier. Mostow came to the project after six months of negotiations, which resulted in the company heading for a 2006 production slot in Australia.
"We are very excited about the project," said Hoberman, who called Mostow cold to pitch him the project only to run into a little serendipity with the director. Hoberman said Mostow called Disney's 1960 feature version his favorite childhood film. Ditto for Hoberman, who came on board to produce through Mandeville after the project had been laying fallow at Disney for some time.
"This is going to be a priority for us," Lieberman said. "This is a big tentpole movie, and it's rare that you get someone like Mostow who makes such cool movies combined with such a classic property."
The original book was written by Johann David Wyss and published by his son, Johann Rudolph Wyss, in 1812. Loosely based on "Robinson Crusoe," the story follows the Robinson family after it washes ashore on an uncharted tropical island following a shipwreck. On the island, the family builds a home in a giant tree and battles the forces of nature.
Disney's version of the film starred John Mills and Dorothy McGuire. The property also has spawned several television series, including one from the mid-1970s starring a young Helen Hunt. Another "Robinson" series was produced for Canadian television a year later.