While audiences were served up a fantastic portrayal of a 1960s Walt Disney in last year’s Saving Mr. Banks, Khoa Le’s Walt Before Disney is set to serve up another helping of the legendary animator, only this time with a particular interest in the early, defining years of the artist’s career.
The period drama — largely based on Timothy S. Susanin’s nonfiction novel, Walt Before Mickey: Disney’s Early Years, 1919-1928 — will be situated in the 1920s, a time where Walt’s nascent career was hampered by several false starts and crushing disappointments.
Labelled as the “missing decade,” the film is set to chart Walt (played by American Pie’s Thomas Ian Nicholas) as he ventures from Missouri to California in the search of his dream — setting up four mediocre film studios along the way.
Joining Ian Nicholas for the tale is Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder — who plays Walt’s brother, Roy. Walt Before Disney also represents Khoa Le’s first venture behind the camera as director, with Arthur L. Bernstein and Armando Gutierrez on script duties.
It’s understood that the filming team is currently seeking a distributor for Walt Before Disney, with a potential fall release date lined up should a deal be made within the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can let us know your own thoughts on Le’s touching portrait of the animator in the comments.