After establishing himself as much more of a household name thanks to The Hunger Games this year, Gary Ross is moving on to his next project, and it's once again going to be a big one. He's now set to direct Peter and the Starcatchers, an adaptation of the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson that's currently running as a hit Broadway production as well.

Ross had been weighing the project back in June, but now Deadline reports he's committed, with hopes to start directing "as quickly as possible" next year. Ross had also been in talks with Summit to make The Secret Life of Houdini, one of a handful of Houdini projects out there, but he apparently wanted to give Starcatchers his full attention. Though the Disney project will inevitably be sold as a Peter Pan prequel, especially since Disney's got their own animated Peter Pan back in the vaults, it really only shares loose affiliations with the J.M. Barrie story. Peter is back in action, leading a group of orphaned boys yet again, but most of the action takes place on a pirate ship, where Peter teams up with a "star catcher" named Molly to keep the pirate Black Stache from gaining power.

It sounds like a rousing adventure, and yet another major genre jump for Ross, who before The Hunger Games had made the historical drama Seabiscuit and the satirical fantasy Pleasantville. I enjoyed seeing his take on The Hunger Games, though, and think he could bring a similarly intriguing twist to the Starcatcher material, which sounds like it could turn into dull children's fantasy pretty quickly. Ross is obviously passionate about the material, so let's hope that passion comes through in the final results.
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