We first wrote about Disney’s Magic Camp movie back in 2014, when comedy legend Steve Martin had co-written the screenplay for a film which would have seen him play a man who returns to a magic-themed camp he attended as a child, this time as a counselor.
But unfortunately, that version of the movie disappeared in a puff of smoke. Instead, Martin has been replaced in the lead role by Adam DeVine (Workaholics), who’s doing his very best “Jack Black in School of Rock” impression as a down-on-his-luck camp counselor who is being overshadowed by a rival counselor, played by Community‘s Gillian Jacobs. Check out the Magic Camp trailer below.
Magic Camp Trailer
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a blatant rip-off of another actor’s schtick, and it’s a real shame that Jack Black won’t be receiving royalties from this movie.
Mean Girls director Mark Waters directed Magic Camp, which has had a bumpy development path as its shuffled through tons of screenwriters along the way. Martin co-wrote an early draft with A.C.O.D. writer/director Stu Zicherman, but the final movie has a story by Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah, Matt Spicer, and Max Winkler, with “screenplay by” credits going to Spicer, Winkler, Noah Harpster, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Dan Gregor, and Doug Mand. It’s commonplace for multiple writers to work on any given studio film, but it’s much more rare for this many of them to receive official credits for their work.
Since this version of Magic Camp does not look good, your time might be better spent watching the charming-looking documentary of the same name that inspired this film:
Here’s the new movie’s official synopsis:
A group of misfit campers help a down-on-his-luck magician rediscover his love of magic in Disney’s “Magic Camp,” a heartwarming comedy about finding joy and confidence in self-acceptance. As a boy attending the Institute of Magic, a secluded mountain retreat which plays host to a bevy of aspiring young magicians each summer, Andy Duckerman (Adam Devine) was a camp legend. Now, at 35, he’s struggling to make ends meet as a professional illusionist and is frustrated and depressed by the direction his career has taken. But when the Institute invites Andy to return as a counselor, he finds himself in charge of the greenest and most awkward wannabe magicians, and having to deal with his former partner and current arch rival, Kristina Darkwood (Gillian Jacobs), who’s also a counselor. As Andy slowly gains the respect of his team of ragtag artists, they in turn inspire him to nurture each of their unique talents while preparing them to compete with the camp’s more experienced magicians in the Institute’s annual Top Hat magic contest.
Magic Camp finally arrives on Disney+ this Friday, August 14, 2020.
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