Gary Ross May Direct Peter Pan Prequel PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS

     July 17, 2012

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Gary Ross earned some clout when after directing the The Hunger Games, and while he didn’t return to direct the sequel due to the studio’s desire for a quick turnaround, he’s got other potential projects on the horizon.  We previously reported that he was in talks to helm an adaptation of The Secret Life of Houdini, and now THR reports that he’s circling an adaptation of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson‘s 2004 children’s adventure novel, Peter and the Starcatchers.

Hit the jump for more.

Per THR, Peter and the Starcatchers is a Peter Pan prequel of sorts, and follows “a young Peter who befriends Molly, a shipmate he meets on the Never Land ship headed towards King Zarboff. Molly tells Peter of a mysterious trunk filled with magical starstuff that must remain out of the hands of the pirate Black Stache (who will lose his hand and become Captain Hook). Together Peter and Molly lead an effort to recover the trunk, which takes them on a treacherous journey.”

Like The Hunger Games, this is material that already has a devoted following (although certainly nowhere near as fanatical).  The book was adapted into an off-Broadway production that earned five Tony awards and nine nominations.  Also like The Hunger Games, this is a project with serious franchise potential not only in terms of sequels, but in terms of how much merchandising and tie-ins the studio can create.

Here’s the synopsis for the novel:

Don’t even think of starting this book unless you’re sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the NeverLand, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger.

Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan.

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