Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock has just signed a deal with Walt Disney Studios to develop Princess of North Sudan, the real-life story of father Jeremiah Heaton in his efforts to make his seven-year-old daughter a princess, according to an exclusive from Deadline. Earlier this year, Heaton, a resident of Virginia, traveled to an 800 square mile piece of land between Sudan and Egypt reported to be the last unclaimed territory left in the world.
He and his daughter Emily planted their homemade flag on the territory in July, thenceforth dubbing themselves King Heaton and Princess Emily of Heaton Kingdom.
In order to make the ownership official, Heaton must receive legal recognition from the UN, Egypt, and Sudan. He plans to garner support by forming positive relationships with neighboring residents through his idea of an experimental agricultural production center within the desert environment.
While Spurlock could clearly skew this story satirically, as many have called Heaton’s quest racist, he and Disney are promoting the film as a true modern fairy tale. Although Heaton’s intentions may seem misplaced to some, he has claimed in a past interview “I wanted to show my kids I will literally go to the ends of the earth to make their wishes and dreams come true;” assuming middle-of-nowhere Africa is one of those ends. It is still unknown whether Spurlock intends to frame the story in a documentary or as his first feature, so it will be interesting to see if his focus lies in the real-life consequences of this colonialist endeavor, or the pure familial ideals of Heaton, and most likely Disney. In the meantime, Spurlock’s latest documentary I Am Santa Claus, following a year in the lives of five professional Santa Clauses, can now be seen worldwide as of this week.