Disney Hires Scribe To Adapt Peter Pan Prequel

By Kristy Puchko 2012-05-18 15:52:23discussion comments
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Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan, a boy who could fly, crossed swords with the dangerous swashbuckler Captain Hook and refused to grow up. But ever wonder how Peter got to Never Land? J.M. Barrie, who created the character, certainly had his own ideas, but humorist Dave Barry and suspense novelist Ridley Pearson offered their own explanation with the 2004 children's novel Peter and the Starcatchers. In this bestseller, they suggest that before there was Peter and Wendy there were Peter and Molly, going on a pirate ship adventure to uncover the magic behind "starstuff."

Since it's release Peter and the Starcatchers has spawned a Disney-owned book series as well as a Broadway play. Now in the wake of the lively stage show scoring an incredible nine Tony nods—making it the most Tony-nominated production currently on Broadway—Disney has begun development on a movie adaptation. Deadline reports the House of Mouse has contracted Jesse Wigutow (It Runs In the Family) to adapt the novel, but made no mention as to whether the resulting film will be animated or not. Either way, with four successive books in the series are likewise ripe for adaptations, so it's basically a guarantee Disney's looking to start a new adventure franchise.

It seems a smart move for Disney, as this could be the base of a property that would keep Disney's hold on girls—what with Molly and fantasy elements—but also wrangle the boy market Disney's been so fiercely pursuing Stateside. Then again, with films like Tangled—awkwardly renamed in the U.S. to kill princess connotations—and the critically panned Cars 2, they've been a little misguided in it as well. As Wigutow doesn't have much of a filmography to speak of, it's hard to say what he may bring to the project, but to have secured the job from Disney, we have to assume he had a solid pitch. Of course, this is just the early stages of Peter and the Starcatchers development, so it's hard to say when this Peter Pan prequel will take flight.
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