Though it’s been a while since there’s been any mention of it, part of the TRON: Legacy team was actually working on a remake of Disney’s The Black Hole a few years ago. Screenwriter Jon Spaihts (Passengers, Doctor Strange) was brought in to do a rewrite on the project, though there’s been little news of it since.
As it turns out, part of the reason for this might be the direction that the remake was taking. According to Spaihts, it may simply have been too dark to fit in with the “colorful” epics that Disney currently has in the works.
Speaking with Slashfilm, Spaihts offered a brief update on The Black Hole during a discussion of his experience co-writing Doctor Strange. As he described it:
Black Hole was an amazing experience. That was one of those movies I was stuck on until I cracked the beginning, and suddenly it just started to flow. I loved that script. It sits uneasily in Disney’s world as a dark epic, and Disney is in a very colorful place. They already have multiple big space epics going, so I don’t know how or whether it’ll find its way to light of day, but I sure wrote a heck of a movie and was thrilled to do it. It was very faithful to the original but clever in all the ways in that first film was silly, I hope.
Given that Disney is currently making Star Wars into an annual franchise and has Guardians of the Galaxy on the Marvel side, the company does in fact have a number of space-based epics underway. It’s unlikely that any of its current projects would really fill the same space as a Black Hole remake, however, even if that project did skew a bit dark.
It’s worth noting that the original The Black Hole was kind of a dark film in and of itself. It had its goofy moments and quirky characters (particularly V.I.N.CENT and B.O.B.), but the core plot wasn’t exactly light and fluffy. A treatment that modernized some of those themes could pretty easily wind up darker than standard Disney fare, though that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Unlike a lot of films that get “dark and gritty” reboots, The Black Hole could really work as a dark epic without being dark and edgy simply for the sake of being dark and edgy.
Of course, some fans might be happiest with the remake of The Black Hole staying in its current limbo. Disney already has a full slate of remakes and live-action adaptations on the way, and there are many who feel that the original Black Hole still largely holds up even with somewhat dated special effects. Still, as impressed as Spaihts was with the script he wrote, it would be pretty interesting to see it made into a finished film at some point.
We’ll keep you updated on The Black Hole as more information becomes available.