Acting in a big budget franchise can be an actor’s one-way ticket to stardom, and Daisy Ridley can certainly attest to that. After she won millions over as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she has become attached to several upcoming films. In addition to reprising her role in Star Wars: Episode VIII, Ridley has signed on to lead the young-adult book adaptation Chaos Walking for director Doug Liman and will reunite with J.J. Abrams (who is producing) on the supernatural thriller Kolma.
So while the galaxy far, far away is obviously taking up much of the actress’ time, she still has room on her schedule for other interesting movies. Ridley is starting to build an impressive filmography, and she’s now added another another intriguing project to her résumé. She has joined the cast of Sony’s live-action/animation hybrid Peter Rabbit, which is based on the property that started in 1902 with the book The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
The news comes courtesy of Variety, who say that Ridley and Elizabeth Debicki (The Night Manager) will star in the film in unspecified parts. It will be directed by Will Gluck (Annie, Easy A) from a screenplay written by newcomer Rob Lieber. Animal Logic, the animation and visual effects company that worked on The LEGO Movie, will produce the film. James Corden is in place to voice the character of Peter Rabbit, while Rose Byrne will play the female lead, Bea.
Sony’s plan is to start production in January 2017 and release Peter Rabbit in April 2018. Other than that, details (including the plot) are being kept under wraps. Fans of the series know that Peter appeared in six books between 1902 and 1912, so it will be interesting to see if the film draws inspiration from a particular title or is more of an amalgamation of numerous novels. It stands reason to believe that Byrne’s Bea will be based on Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix Potter, but the other elements are a mystery for now. With filming commencing in just a few months, more information will likely be revealed shortly.
For those not in the know, Peter Rabbit is one of the most popular characters in children’s literature. The series as a whole has sold more than 151 million copies worldwide, with the original book The Tale of Peter Rabbit selling more than 40 million on its own. He is known for being mischievous and frequently raids the garden of Mr. McGregor for vegetables. The stories taught youngsters several valuable life lessons, such as the importance of following rules and orders. For instance, in the first book, Peter disobeys his mother and goes into McGregor’s garden, only to lose his shoes and jacket during his misadventure. In all likelihood, the movie will look to remain true to the source material, as Peter Rabbit publisher Frederick Warne is also involved.
While the Peter Rabbit cast is certainly top notch, there are some questions about the creative team behind the camera. Gluck has an uneven track record as a helmsman; Easy A and Friends With Benefits were both well-received, but his Annie and Fired Up were mostly panned by critics. And as stated earlier, this will mark the first film script for Lieber, though Gluck is doing some revisions of his own. It remains to be seen how successful they are in translating Peter Rabbit for modern audiences, but the potential is there for a heartwarming family film for the Easter holiday.
Peter Rabbit will open in theaters April 2018.