Disney is adding a new title to its ever-expanding roster of live-action remakes, and it’s an ambitious one. Deadline reports that Sam Mendes is in early talks to develop and direct a live-action adaptation of James and the Giant Peach with Brooklyn and An Education scribe Nick Hornby attached to write the screenplay. The report notes that Mendes is in “very early” negotiations.
Henry Selick first adapted the book from beloved children’s author Roald Dahl for the studio back in 1996 with the stop-motion feature of the same name. The story follows James, a young orphan who lives with his cruel, abusive aunts until a magical gift transforms an ordinary peach into a giant vessel for extraordinary adventure. Accompanied by the peach’s now human-sized invertebrate inhabitants, James takes to the seas and the skies on an epic journey. It’s quite the tall order for a live-action feature (Selick’s version started live-action but transitioned to stop-motion when things got fantastical), but this year’s breakout The Jungle Book demonstrated the tremendous ability of modern CG tech to integrate the live-action and the animated.
For Mendes, James and the Giant Peach comes on the heels of two back-to-back entries in the James Bond catalogue, Skyfall and Spectre. However, it won’t be his first time tangling with Dahl’s material — Mendes directed the Charlie and the Chocolate stage musical back in 2013.
James and the Giant Peach joins the Lin-Manuel Miranda fronted The Little Mermaid remake as the latest in Disney’s ever-expanding line-up of live-action reboots. Click through for Dave’s in-depth breakdown of Disney’s officially announced upcoming live-action lineup, or check it out in brief below.
Cruella with Emma Stone set for the title role and Kelly Marcel writing
A Wrinkle in Time with Ava DuVernay attached to direct and Jennifer Lee writing
Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson set to star and John Requa and Glenn Ficarra writing
Dumbo with director Tim Burton and writer Ehren Kruger
A sequel to Mary Poppins with director Rob Marshall, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda
Maleficent 2 with Angelia Jolie set to return in the title role and Linda Woolverton writing
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms with director Lasse Hallstrom and writer Ashleigh Powell
The Jungle Book 2 with both director Jon Favreau and writer Justin Marks returning
A Tinker Bell project with Reese Witherspoon set to star and Victoria Strouse writing