• The
    Space Mountain
    movie gets a positive update after 4 years.
  • Writing duo Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec have been tapped to work on a new screenplay.
  • The movie joins other Disney theme park adaptations like
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    Jungle Cruise



The Space Mountain movie has received its first positive update in four years. The in-development project is one of several planned onscreen adaptations of Disney theme park attractions to follow hits like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, including Tower of Terror starring Scarlett Johannson and Big Thunder Mountain. The movie, which has been in development hell for some time, was previously retooled in 2020 after a version written by Max Landis was scrapped, at which point it was announced that Joby Harold, who is also producing the movie, would be penning the screenplay.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec have now been set to write a new version of the screenplay for the Space Mountain movie. The writing duo has previously collaborated on a variety of projects on both the big and small screens. This includes Prime Video’s Citadel, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the animated movie Wonder Park, in addition to co-showrunning Netflix’s short-lived live-action adaptation of the iconic anime Cowboy Bebop.

Will The Space Mountain Movie Actually Happen?

Disney’s Track Record With Attraction Movies Is Wobbly

The exterior of Disney's Space Mountain

While this update shows that Space Mountain is still in the works, it remains to be seen if it ever gets out of production hell. As the screenwriters on the movie have already been replaced twice, it remains to be seen if Appelbaum and Nemec’s script will be met with the same treatment. Additionally, quite a few other attraction-based movies have also struggled to come to fruition, with the roster of already-scrapped projects including It’s a Small World, a Matterhorn adaptation titled The Hill, and a Pirates reboot starring Margot Robbie.

While Disney has made hits out of most of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, they have had even more attraction-based failures. Before striking gold with Pirates, their financial flops included 2000’s Mission to Mars and 2002’s The Country Bears, but even more recently, their new versions of Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise struggled just to make their budgets back, let alone meet their break-even points, which are commonly twice that number or more. Below, see how attraction adaptations have fared commercially in the last 15 years:


Reported Budget

Worldwide Box Office

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

$410.6 million

$1.046 billion

Tomorrowland (2015)

$180-190 million

$209 million

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

$230-320 million

$795.9 million

Jungle Cruise (2021)

$200 million

$220.9 million

Haunted Mansion (2023)

$150 million

$117.5 million

While the Haunted Mansion box office was compromised by the movie being released during the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike, these results show that non-Pirates adaptations are still far from a sure bet. This could eventually cause producers to become skittish enough to scrap Space Mountain yet again if the newest screenplay iteration doesn’t go well. This could especially be the case as, while the source material is a popular attraction, it doesn’t have a premise beyond a space travel adventure, which doesn’t necessarily provide a strong IP hook on which a story can be hung.

Source: THR

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