Gary Ross Circles ‘Peter Pan’ Prequel, ‘Peter and the Starcatchers’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 12:29 pm,

Disney is developing Peter and the Starcatchers, a film adaptation of the popular 2004 children’s fantasy adventure novel that’s already been turned into a Tony-winning stage production.

The book (co-written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson) is a standalone Peter Pan tale that takes place prior to the events of J.M. Barrie’s famous story about the boy who never grew up. Hence, it’s considered a Peter Pan prequel, by default.

THR reports that four-time Oscar-nominee Gary Ross has entered talks to helm Peter and the Starcatchers, where he would work from an initial script draft penned by Jesse Wigutow (who’s also writing the upcoming Crow reboot). It’s one of a few projects competing to become Ross’ directorial followup to his mega-successful Hunger Games adaptation – the other being the historical fiction/adventure tale, Houdini.

It’s common practice in Hollywood nowadays for there to be multiple films based around the same famous literary property in development (Sleeping Beauty, The Wizard of Oz, etc.), and Peter Pan is no exception. Case in point: Sony has a direct prequel to Barrie’s original creation in the works, titled Neverland – and there’s the murder-mystery spinoff Pan from visual effects animator Ben Hibons (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1) – in addition to Peter and the Starcatchers, obviously.

peter starcatchers movie Gary Ross Circles Peter Pan Prequel, Peter and the Starcatchers

The stage version of ‘Peter and the Starcatchers’

Peter and the Starcatchers is also the first in a trilogy, rounded out by Peter and the Shadow Thieves and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon. The series chronicles the adventures of a young(er) Peter Pan, a girl named Molly, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, and a “familiar” pirate known as Black Stache (three guesses who he becomes). Here’s a brief, semi-official synopsis of the first installment in the prequel series:

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.

That’s all to say: Peter and the Starcatchers meets the criteria for a present-day blockbuster (brand recognition, built-in franchise potential). Nonetheless, Ross is a very talented storyteller and he could easily deliver a captivating cinematic take on the book. Moreover, by most accounts, this is one of the rare literary spinoffs that truly stands on its own feet – and offers quality entertainment, even for those who are otherwise unfamiliar with the mythology of Peter Pan. So take that for what it’s worth.

We’ll keep you updated on Peter and the Starcatchers as the story develops.

Source: THR

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  1. Haven’t seen The Hunger Games so not sure if this guy’s good or not but I liked the Sky Drama production on tv last summer that acted as a prequel starring Rhys Ifans as James Hook and with Bob Hoskins returning as Smee that showed Peter and the Lost Boys as pickpockets working with Hook before they were all somehow transported to Never Land and found others that had suffered the same fate over the centuries (Native Americans, pirates etc).

  2. Disney always has to have there share of the pie., and sense Peter Pan is getting popular with five movie projects they just had to do this also., I have the book’s just hope they don’t screw up the movie cause the books were rather good ….Sigh* and they better give credit to J.m. barrie for he created the Peter pan story not disney….

  3. I just hope they can find a way to get Dustin Hoffman to play “Black Stache”

  4. that would be epic., he was great in HOOK!!!!., hehe