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Disney has been on a tear recently with remaking their classic animated movies into live action features. Maleficent and Cinderella have already come out, The Jungle Book hits theaters on Friday and numerous others are in varying stages of development. Now we can add one more to that large list, as despite the critical and commercial failure of the Warner Bros prequel Pan, Disney is making their own live action Peter Pan movie.
The House of Mouse has hired Pete’s Dragon director David Lowery to helm their Peter Pan movie. According to Deadline, Lowery will co-write the script with Toby Halbrooks, who he worked with on the Pete’s Dragon live action remake. Disney’s animated Peter Pan movie came out in 1953, and over 70 years later, it remains one of the studio’s most well-known entries. This would be the latest of several live action Peter Pan adaptations over the decades, including Hook, the 2003 Peter Pan movie and last year’s Pan.
Based on J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, Disney’s Peter Pan movie followed the eponymous protagonist as he brought the Wendy, Michael and John Darling to the mystical island of Never Land. While there, they had to contend with Captain Hook and his pirate crew. Following that, a sequel called Return to Never Land came out in 2002, and eight direct-to-video prequels starring Peter’s pixie friend Tinker Bell have been released. Making the jump to live action seems like the next step up, especially how keen Disney is on retelling their classic animated hits for the modern audience in live action.
That said, one would think that after Warner Bros experience with Pan last year, Disney might be hesitant to put their own Peter Pan movie into production. Pan, which told the story of how Peter originally arrived in Neverland, came out last October. Unfortunately for Warner Bros, despite their intent to kick off a franchise with Pan, it earned negative reviews and only earned a little over $128 million worldwide. Definitely not a rousing success, but Disney might have better luck. Their track record so far with these types of movies has varied from decent to excellent, so if David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks can find a way to add enough new material while still staying true to the spirit of the original, they’ll be fine.
There’s no word yet on when Disney live-action Peter Pan movie will be released, but given all the other live action adaptations they have on their slate, it could be a while until this one’s time comes. We’ll keep you updated on any news about its development, but in the meantime, check out our list of all the other fairy tale-type movies, both from Disney and other studios, that have been announced.