Gary Ross surprised the industry when he announced he wouldn’t be directing the sequel to his blockbuster ‘The Hunger Games.’ Since then he’s been lining up a few options and it looks like he’s returning to literary works as his next project. THR is reporting that Ross is in talks to direct the film version of ‘Peter Pan and the Starcatchers,’ a novel written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.
Disney actually acquired the rights to the book back in 2005 with the intention of turning it into a 3D CGI feature film but wound up adapting it as a musical on Broadway first. The play won 5 Tony awards and with fairy tale retellings a big thing in Hollywood these days, the studio has decided to move forward with their plans for a film. Just a couple months ago they hired Jesse Wigutow to scribe the screenplay and now are hoping Ross will decide to take on this project.
‘Peter Pan and the Starcatchers’ is a prequel of sorts which follows the life of young Peter Pan while he traveled on the ship Never Land and before he met Wendy and her brothers. He befriends Molly, a shipmate he meets while on the way to King Zarboff. She tells him of a mysterious trunk filled with magical starstuff that must be kept out of the hands of the villainous pirate Black Stache (who later will lose his hand and become Captain Hook). The journey results in a treacherous adventure for all.
Like ‘The Hunger Games,’ ‘Peter Pan and the Starcatchers’ has the potential of becoming a franchise as Barry and Pearson have already written four books in the series (not counting the fifth spin-off novel and the supporting children’s books that go along with the main series).
With the plethora of Peter Pan projects already in the works, will movie goers be receptive to yet another interpretation of the boy who never grew up? After all, Sony has ‘Neverland’ which is the brainchild of Channing Tatum (‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation,’ ’21 Jump Street’) and has Gavin O’Conner attached to direct, Guillermo del Toro is producing his version called ‘Pan’ starring Aaron Eckhart (‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Battle Los Angeles’, ‘I, Frankenstein’) as Captain Hook, and Fox is working on ‘The Lost Boys’ for television.
We’ll just have to wait and see if Ross decides to take on this project. If he can do for Peter Pan what he did for Katniss, then audiences will be in for a real treat!