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Disney's 'Hovercar 3-D': Harry Potter, but with racing?

November 17, 2010 |  7:17 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Fans of  "Tron: Legacy" who are eagerly awaiting that movie next month could soon be in for another Disney futuristic thriller.

According to two sources who've been briefed on the film, the studio is working on a live-action techno-thriller titled  "Hovercar" -- a movie about a hovercar racer (yes, it's a real job) tasked with escorting an informant to safety as the two come under fire from corrupt government operatives (a setup that will no doubt allow for plenty of "Tron"-like chase scenes).


Hover Video and commercials director Fredrik Bond -- he's worked with Moby, among others -- is one of the directors who's being looked at to direct the film, and the up-and-coming writer Blaise Hemingway will write it, the sources said.

Disney declined to comment.

Based on an online serial that turned into a popular young-adult book series from the Australian novelist Matthew Reilly , the property was actually set up at Disney six years ago with the creators responsible for "Smallville," who remain involved. But "Hovercar" has now been restarted and put back on track, with all the attendant puns that implies.

Like "Tron," the film will be in 3-D. And like "Tron," there will be merchandising possibilities -- in this case, we imagine, cars along the lines of, well, "Cars." So there's a certain logic to it.

Reilly's story lines, developed over the course of several books, contain a series of discrete challenges and adventures that some fans have compared to Harry Potter. Which, given the mad dash in Hollywood to find a replacement for that franchise, we suppose provides "Hovercar" with a different type of logic.

-- Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

 Photo: 'Hover Car Racer' book jacket. Credit: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

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