Prolific director Mark Waters has been tapped to helm the upcoming live-action family comedy from Disney, MAGIC CAMP. It’s being produced by Suzanne Todd, with Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue working on the most recent draft of the script. Comedy actor Steve Martin remains in talks to star in the film.
The film follows a rigid and cautious banker who returns to the summer camp he attended as a boy: a camp for magic. His return to the camp is as a fun counselor to help out the young group of rag-tag magicians, but privately he also has an eye on winning the Golden Wand competition.
It has long been in development, with several writers taking turns at the script but without a director until now. This will mark Waters’ second time directing a Disney film — his first was 2003’s fondly remembered and reviewed Freaky Friday remake starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. He has a knack for comedies and teen comedies especially. He is perhaps well-known for directing Mean Girls, just a year after Freaky Friday, which has gone on to become a classic and wildly popular (and quotable) film. He has also directed the fantasy films The Spiderwick Chronicles and Vampire Academy, as well as romcoms like Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Just Like Heaven. Finally, he directed the upcoming Bad Santa 2 sequel.
Waters is not the only new addition to the film. Harpster and Blue have taken over screenplay responsibilities from Max Winkler and Matthew Spicer, who The Tracking Board exclusively reported had boarded the film back in July. They are the latest of many screenwriters for this film, which started with an original draft from Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs. Other writers who have contributed to the screenplay include Stu Zicherman and potential star Martin.
This will be Harpster’s first feature film screenplay credit, while Blue has previously written the films The Motel Life and Last Meal.
Magic Camp is currently in preproduction and follows other recent original live-action family films from Walt Disney Studios such as Tomorrowland; McFarland, USA; and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor