Fans of Steve Martin’s stand-up comedy years (or anyone who’s read Martin’s terrific book Born Standing Up) know he honed his craft while working in amusement parks in California as a teenager and young man, and that his first real start as a performer came at Disneyland, where he worked at the Main Street Magic Shop. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Martin will be calling on his memories of magic for the Walt Disney family comedy Magic Shop. The movie is about a middle-aged man who tries to recapture the joy he felt as a youngster by becoming a counselor at the magic camp he loved as a kid. Martin has already written a draft of the script (alongside A.C.O.D. writer-director Stu Zicherman), and is deep in talks to play the lead as well.
Martin and Zicherman rewrote a screenplay that originated with Diary Of A Wimpy Kid screenwriters Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs, who will now serve as the project’s producers. And frankly, Martin’s involvement on the writing end makes this movie sound more promising than it would if Martin were only starring. Martin disappeared down the family-movie rabbit hole for most of the 2000s, forgoing the inspired silliness and guiding intelligence he brought to his films in the 1980s and 1990s. He’s a strong screenwriter, and if he can write a role for himself that lets him draw on his own experience as a magician and as a nostalgic older gentlemen, Magic Camp could be a sweet, funny little movie—a return to the Martin of Roxanne and L.A. Story. That would be a nifty trick.