The Walt Disney Company announced they greenlit a pilot for an upcoming Witch Mountain Disney+ series with Bryce Dallas Howard in the leading role.
In a press release, Disney stated, “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 sleep suburb may not be as idyllic as it seems.”
For those unfamiliar with Witch Mountain, the first film Escape to Witch Mountain was produced by Disney back in 1975 and was based on the 1968 novel of the same name by Alexander H. Key.
The novel follows a pair of siblings, Tony and Tia, as they exhibit telepathic abilities and are subsequently being hunted down by a shadowy European cabal and their agent Lucas Deranian.
The siblings eventually encounter a Catholic priest who aids them as they discover they are actually extraterrestrials who fled to earth after their planet became uninhabitable. They then journey to Witch Mountain despite the machinations of the cabal reunite with their uncle and other survivors of their planet.
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Disney created a sequel to their first film, Return from Witch Mountain in 1978. A television movie was produced in 1982 titled Beyond Witch Mountain and broadcast on CBS.
A television movie remake was created in 1995 as part of The Wonderful World of Disney. The book was remade as a movie again in 2009 in a film called Race to Witch Mountain. It starred Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
In the press release Disney went on to reveal a number of the characters and the actors playing them in this new “modern reinvention” of the novel.
First up, they revealed Bryce Dallas Howard plays a character named Audrey. Howard’s character is described as “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.”
Next, they revealed Isabel Gravitt plays Tia. They describe her character as “a straight-A student who’s regarded by her classmates as ‘perfect,’ although she regards herself as flawed. She’s terrified of failure and is plagued by nightmares and fears that her late father’s schizophrenia is starting to exhibit itself in her. Tia has ‘hallucinations’ in which people around her step outside their living bodies and voice their deepest, darkest fears and desires and rages.”
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Levi Miller plays a character named Ben. The character is described as “a troubled teen who makes ends meet by writing papers for other students but he’s got a hot temper and if he slugs another student, he’ll be expelled. Ben is best friends with Corey, his co-worker at the diner. He’s recently made a troubling discovery about himself, he can force others in his vicinity to move according to his will and there’s something drawing him inexplicably in the direction of Tia.”
Bianca “b” Norwood, who claims to be non-binary despite that being a physical impossibility, plays a character named Corey. The character is described by Disney as “Ben’s closest friend, an outsider with tattoos, Corey is a very mature teen who comes across older than they are. They are one step away from expulsion and puts more care into looking like a My Chemical Romance song that became an anime fan. Corey works at the local diner alongside Ben and is in his circle of trust, but doesn’t appreciate it when he tries to act as their protector.”
Finally, Disney announced that Jackson Kelly plays a character named Peter. Peter is described as “lovesick on the subject of Tia, but she’s unaware of his charms, and equally unaware of his devotion. But when Tia expresses her concerns about the seemingly impossible happenings around them, she learns that Peter’s observant, cautious nature might be an asset in figuring out the mystery around them.”
This new show appears to be just another part of Disney’s agenda to reshape American culture into their own vision that rejects the reality of the world around us as well as its immutable truth.
It also confirms that Disney will continue to be embrace wokeness under Bob Iger despite some people believing his posturing during a town hall signaled he would be dialing it back.
What do you make of this “modern reinvention” of Witch Mountain?
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