EARLIER: Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor will direct Neverland, the Billy Ray-scripted film that takes a new look at J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. The project is at Sony, and Channing Tatum is attached to star and produce with his partner Reid Carolin under their Iron Horse banner. The pair hatched the project together, and they brought in Ray and enlisted fairy tale go to guy producer Joe Roth, and they sold the pitch to Sony. Palak Patel is also producing. The film, described to me as an origin story of Peter Pan and Hook, rides the wave of revisionist tales after the Roth-produced Alice in Wonderland, and the craze continues with the Snow White pics Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman.
All this comes at a good time for the movie, as Tatum has become a bonafide up and coming star after The Vow, and that is expected to be enhanced with tomorrow’s opening of 21 Jump Street. Tatum’s repped by UTA and Management 360.
O’Connor, who directed the U.S. Olympic hockey team saga Miracle for Disney, directed one of the true gems of 2011 in Warrior, which was unfortunately sold by Lionsgate as a mixed martial arts film when it was a thoughtful father-son story that contained terrific performances by Oscar-nominated Nick Nolte, Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton. Too bad not many people saw it. O’Connor will supervise the next draft of the script by Ray, who scripted the Paul Greengrass-directed Captain Phillips Somali pirate project that Tom Hanks is starring in, and The Thin Man remake for Johnny Depp, an original project for JJ Abrams. He also scripted the 24 movie that will likely be postponed until next year. O’Connor and Ray are repped by CAA, Ray also by 360 Management.