There’s Going to Be a Movie About That ‘Up’ House in Seattle
While it’s not actually the house that inspired Up, there is a house in Seattle that bears a striking resemblance to the one inhabited by Carl Fredricksen in Pixar’s contemporary classic. And Fox Searchlight is now developing a film based on that house and its late owner, Edith Macefield, who also had a bit in common with the fictional Fredricksen.
According to THR, the studio is teaming with Will Gluck (Easy A) to produce the currently untitled film based on a script from John Whittington. The story — which sounds tailor made for Judi Dench — centers on the elderly Macefield, who rose to fame when she refused to sell her 100-year-old home in Seattle to land developers who wanted to build a mall. Everyone in the neighborhood sold out except for Macefield, who went so far as to turn down a $1 million payout from the developers.
Instead, the company built the mall around her house. Surprisingly, Macefield befriended the superintendent of the development project, who would check on her daily even as the construction continued to wall her in. When Macefield eventually passed away in 2008 (two years after the development began), she left the house to the superintendent.
The film will “tell the story of Macefield and her unlikely relationship with Martin, how each changed the other’s life, and how living a life with dignity is a basic human need.” Although Macefield’s home very closely resembled the one in Up (to the point where people tied balloons around her house), Pixar denied that the film was inspired by her home or her life. Like the fictional Carl Fredricksen, Macefield was also an elderly person who stubbornly refused to change along with the rest of the world.
Macefield’s home is now owned by a nonprofit group, which is trying to relocate the property to Orcas Island to avoid demolition.