The Witch Mountain franchise hasn’t been a cash cow for the Disney Corporation but hasn’t been a flop, so it may be better described as a cash calf. According to Variety, the company is looking to try and grow that calf into a cow with a new series starring Ron Howard’s daughter. The upcoming series is the sixth live-action project that Disney has put forth, but this one will be the first project in series form starring Bryce Dallas Howard instead of a feature film, which last starred Dwayne Johnson.
The series will follow Aubrey (Bryce Dallas Howard) as a widow and the mother of two teens, Tony and Tia, who discover they have developed supernatural abilities; she takes on the protector role once played by Dwayne Johnson. The two are on the run from a mysterious force and discover they are extraterrestrial in origin. The series also stars Isabel Gravitt (The Watcher), Levi Miller (Streamline), Bianca “b” Norwood (WeCrashed), and Jackson Kelly (Straight Man).The sixth live-action project is based on the novel, Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key, released in 1968 and led to a slew of Disney works. The first was a 1975 film directed by John Hough and starred Eddie Albert, Ray Milland, and Donald Pleasance. The film spurred two sequels, Return from Witch Mountain starring Bette Davis and Christopher Lee in 1978 and Beyond Witch Mountain, which had the return of Eddie Albert in 1982.
The franchise’s first remake came in 1995 with Escape to Witch Mountain, which starred Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) but didn’t go anywhere except the lackluster made-for-TV premiere. 2009 brought the theatrical remake that had more star power for the day and looked to relaunch a much bigger budget production. Bryce Dallas Howard’s recent casting was preceded by the 2009 version’s Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jungle Cruise), AnnaSophia Robb (Soul Surfer, The Carrie Diaries), Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games, The Lone Survivor), and Carla Gugino (Spy Kids, Night at the Museum).
Bryce Dallas Howard seems to have found a home with Disney the same way Dwayne Johnson did with Moana and Jungle Cruise. She seems to be more comfortable working behind the camera for Disney in their Star Wars franchise, as she has directed episodes of The Mandolorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Howard has also appeared on camera for Disney in the live-action remake of Pete’s Dragon and Tales of the Jedi.