by Rob Vaux Posted: March 15th, 2013 at 5:49 am
Confession time: I’m not all that fond of Peter Pan. Walt Disney’s animated classic took the world by storm in the 1950s, justifying decades of development and turning an entire generation of boomers into entitled man-children in the process. Disney certainly wasted no time in exploiting its success, re-releasing it in theaters numerous times and granting it perennial status as one of his company’s signature films. But in truth, it pales before many of the studio’s less commercially profitable movies, and now remains a fossilized product of its era rather than a timeless enchantment for all ages. Hit the jump for my full review.
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.
Director Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) has been tapped to helm the Sony Pictures production of Neverland, a film that features Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street). There is some confusion as to the plot of Neverland, which was formerly known as Pan; this is where the trouble started. When last we reported on this particular Peter Pan-related project, there was another movie titled Pan that was also in production. That film, directed by animation sequence and video game director Ben Hibon (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1), stars Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as Captain Hook, AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia) as Wendy and Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) as Smee. Scripted by Benjamin Magid, this twist on the classic J.M. Barrie tale pits a heroic Captain Hook in search of a child-stealing Peter Pan.
While this actually sounds like a fresh spin on an old story, it has nothing to do with the Tatum and now, O’Connor version. Plot details are in short order, but a previous report did pitch the idea that Peter Pan and Captain Hook were brothers. It’s all rather confusing. Hit the jump to sort it out. [Update: Tatum's reps have clarified that he's only production the origin take on Peter Pan, not starring].
There are various Peter Pan re-imaginings scooting their way through development. There’s the terrible-sounding prequel Pan that stars Channing Tatum and sets Peter and Captain Hook as brothers. Disney is considering the a promising adaptation of Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson’s Peter and the Starcatchers, which has Peter and the Lost Boys as the pirates. And then there’s my favorite among the adaptations—an action-thriller, also titled Pan, directed by Ben Hibon. If you’re not familiar with Hibon, he directed the beautiful animated sequence in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. Pan was originally set up as a directing vehicle for Guillermo del Toro, but Hibon came on board to helm the picture last November. The story is a dark re-imagining of J.M. Barrie’s tale which has Captain Hook as a haunted former police detective in pursuit of a childlike kidnapper.
Now the first cast members have been revealed and it’s an exciting line-up: Aaron Eckhart, Sean Bean, and AnnaSophia Robb. Hit the jump for more details on their characters.
While Sony recently picked up an awful-sounding Peter Pan prequel starring Channing Tatum to the tune of $1 million, Disney is considering its own Pan prequel and it sounds far more promising. Disney chief Bob Iger recently told shareholders that the studio is considering an adaptation of Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson’s Peter and the Starcatchers, which sets Peter and his lost boys as the pirates instead of against the pirates. Said Iger:
“We considered making [it] a movie,” Iger said, noting they went as far as hiring a screenwriter to adapt the book. “We haven’t made a decision on that yet.”
The Wrap reports that Disney has been testing the material Off Broadway production at the New York Theater Workshop to see if it will translate into feature film. According to New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley, the play is a huge success. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Peter and the Starcatchers and some images from the Off Broadway production.
Every piece of classic literature is getting a reboot these days and it was foolish to think Peter Pan would buck the trend. Last week, a pitch went out for a package called “Peter Pan Begins” with Channing Tatum attached to star, screenwriter Billy Ray (Shattered Glass) writing the script, and Joe Roth (Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland) producing. Because audiences must know Peter Pan’s origin story, the pitch ignited a bidding war and Heat Vision reports that Sony Pictures came out on top to the tune of about $1 million.
We still don’t know much about the pitch, which is now titled “Pan” (so there goes the title for my Spanish-language drama about satyrs who bake bread), but HV says that the prequel envisions Peter Pan and Captain Hook as brothers. Let me guess: Hook is jealous that Peter got to stay a kid. Wonderful.