David Mamet’s ‘The Diary Of Anne Frank’ Rejected By The Walt Disney Company

The departure of longtime chairman Dick Cook from Walt Disney Studios is having a ripple effect on the company’s planned film slate. Beyond the potentially endangered “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise given Johnny Depp’s recent loss of enthusiasm, it appears that Disney is turning around on another project — namely, “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

According to The Wrap, Disney has ceased development on playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker David Mamet’s interpretation of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” the story of a young Jewish girl’s experiences throughout the Holocaust. The report suggests that “Anne Frank” was rejected by Disney for being “too dark,” but also because Cook’s recent ousting has stalled movement on a vast majority of Disney’s projects.

“With the studio in a state of limbo after the ouster of chairman Dick Cook, it is unlikely that any projects will be getting the go-ahead at the moment,” insider sources tell The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman.

Honestly, I’m a bit confused about the other reason for “Anne Frank’s” rejection — that it was “too dark.” What exactly did Disney think the movie was going to be? With a writer like David Mamet aboard the project, not to mention the incredibly morbid subject matter, it would be wildly inappropriate to Disney-fy Anne Frank’s tragic journey. If that was the studio’s intention, I’m happy that “Anne Frank” has fled the House of Mouse.

Still, Mamet’s version of “Anne Frank” isn’t a straight adaptation of the Holocaust victim’s memoirs, focusing instead on “a contemporary Jewish girl who goes to Israel and learns about the traumas of suicide bombing.”

“It’s very intense, and dark and scary,” Waxman’s source described. “It’s not a film version of ’The Diary of Anne Frank.’ The story evolved into something more intense.”

Are you interested in Mamet’s adaptation — or, more accurately, reimagining — of Anne Frank’s story? How do you think Disney would have handled the film? Let us know in the comments section!