Published On: Sun, Apr 14th, 2024

How Kurt Russell Saved Disney’s Sky High From A Disastrous Script Rewrite


While Mitchell served as the director, the film was written by Paul Hernandez, Bob Schooley, and Mark McCorkle. Russell’s role in “Sky High” was vital but didn’t require too much screen time, and he enjoyed the script. “I saw lots of laughs, visually lots of laugh lines, could be a fun character to play and I think the movie has something to say at the end of the day,” he said. “In that vein, I believe it’s the classic approach to a Disney movie, the kind I used to do there.” (In his child actor days, Russell acted in several Disney films.) He recalled Mitchell agreeing and claiming that the classic approach to Disney was precisely what he wanted to do. But then Russell was sent a rewrite — one that he absolutely hated.

“It was suddenly, I felt, because of the way it had been tweaked, it was nasty, it had a meanness to it that nobody else was seeing,” he said. Russell spoke with Mitchell and emphasized that the film he wanted to make was the classic Disney take on the story, which, fortunately, was the film Mitchell was also fighting to make. In an interview with Inverse, McCorkle credited Mitchell with wanting to embrace the vibrant playfulness of comic books. “Mike had a vision of bright colors and it being friendly and upbeat,” McCorkle said, knowing that the ask was in opposition of the popular superhero fare at the time, like Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins.” Per the interview with Kurt Russell, he didn’t want to do the darker-toned movie, and pushed for the family-friendly version. “They said, ‘Yes, this is what we want to do. This is the road we want to go down,’ I said, ‘Okay, count me in, let’s go.'” Russell and Mitchell were able to make the film they had envisioned, and the rest is history.


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