Earlier this summer Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) pulled out of the running to direct The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and ended up talking to Disney about developing a project for them called Peter and the Starcatchers. According to Deadline, he's officially secured the directing gig and it will be his next film project. It looked like he would be directing a film for Summit Entertainment called The Secret Life of Houdini, but apparently he was tired of waiting around for the studio to make a deal, and he lost interest.
Peter and the Starcatchers is the first in a book series written Dave Barry and Ridley Pierson, that has already been adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway production. The script for the film is currently being written by Jesse Wigutow.
The story is a Peter Pan origin story, that 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."
I've enjoyed watching Ross' films over the years, which also include Seabiscuit and Pleasantville. This newest project is definitely different from any of his other films, especially since it's a fantasy. I've never read the books, but it sounds like a fun story and a good project for Ross to take on. He hopes to start shooting it in early 2013.
What are your thoughts on Ross directing this movie? Do you think it's a good fit for his directing style?
Here's a description of the book:
In an evocative and fast-paced adventure on the high seas and on a faraway island an orphan boy named Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, overcome bands of pirates and thieves in their quest to keep a fantastical secret safe and save the world from evil. Bestselling authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have turned back the clock and revealed a wonderful story that precedes J. M. Barrie’s beloved Peter Pan. Peter and the Starcatchers is brimming with richly developed characters from the scary but somehow familiar Black Stache and the ferocious Mister Grin to the sweet but sophisticated Molly and the fearless Peter. Riveting adventure takes listeners on a journey from a harsh orphanage in old England to a treacherous sea in a decrepit old tub. Aboard the Never Land is a trunk that holds a magical substance with the power to change the fate of the world - just a sprinkle and wounds heal and just a dusting and people can fly. Towering seas and a violent storm are the backdrop for battles at sea. Bone-crushing waves eventually land our characters on Mollusk Island - where the action really heats up.