EXCLUSIVE: Disney will make its own live-action Peter Pan film, and has set David Lowery to direct a script that he will write with Toby Halbrooks. They teamed to write and Lowery directed Pete’s Dragon, a new version of Disney’s 1977 live action/animated musical. It will be the second effort in the family film space for Lowery, who was best known for writing and directing the edgy indie Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Jim Whitaker will be the producer on this one.
Disney might as well reclaim the J.M. Barrie work about the boy who would not grown up; it was the focus of its successful 1953 animated film. Many other studios have made their own versions on the big and small screen, including Steven Spielberg’s star-studded Hook to most recently the Joe Wright-directed Pan, which didn’t work out well for Warner Bros. Lowery is separately working towards directing Robert Redford in The Old Man And The Gun, which Lowery adapted from the David Grann The New Yorker article about an aging thief who in the 1980s knocked off a lot of banks in throwback style and became a folk hero outlaw.
This becomes another strong project for Disney’s live-action division, run by Sean Bailey, which has generated its own list of family-themed blockbusters from past Disney properties and theme park attractions and some originals. It doesn’t get the ink accorded to sister silos Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, but it has gotten results that should continue with the upcoming Jon Favreau-directed The Jungle Book, which is already slated to develop a sequel. The division has a Tim Burton-directed Dumbo percolating, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which directors Joachin Ronning and Espen Sanberg have wrapped.
Also percolating is the James Bobin-directed sequel Alice Through The Looking Glass, a Mary Poppins sequel with Rob Marshall directing Emily Blunt and Hamilton‘s Lin Manuel Miranda, the Bill Condon-directed Beauty And The Beast with Emma Watson, Angelina Jolie in Maleficent 2, Emma Stone set for Cruella De Ville, Dwayne Johnson attached to Jungle Cruise, James Mangold developing Captain Nemo, Ehren Kruger developing Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, with a version of Tower Of Terror based on a John August idea. There is also Tinkerbell, which has Reese Witherspoon attached. Latter film is on track to happen before Peter Pan, and it is possible that there could be some crossover cast.
WME reps Lowery and Halbrooks.