It was TOM HANKS vs. MICKEY MOUSE as cameras rolled on the set of the new WALT DISNEY biopic “Saving Mr. Banks” – and Mouse Kingdom execs reacted in shock and horror when they saw the celebrated actor playing iconic Walt as a chain-smoking tyrant who bullied his long-suffering staff.
“STOP!” shrieked Mouseketeer moguls.
But Tom, flatly refusing to portray Disney as lovable ol’ Uncle Walt without exposing his dark side, fired right back: “Walt Disney was no saint. He was bossy and moody. He smoked cigarettes, fought constantly with the unions – and that’s the way I plan on portraying him.”
Squawking like DONALD DUCK, the Disney honchos convinced Tom to throttle down on the chain-smoking and tone down Uncle Walt’s grumpy temperament – but he held his ground, refusing to totally sugarcoat the persona of the cranky creative genius.
UPDATE FOR DISNEY EXECS: It just isn’t your week, dudes! UK’s “The Guardian” just reported a new opera about Disney’s life premieres in Spain this week – and it portrays him as “a megalomaniac with…racist and misogynist tendencies!” OLE!