Peter and the Starcatchers, an eight year old novel that serves as a prequel to J.M. Barrie’s original Peter Pan story Peter and Wendy, has been gaining quite the headlines recently. The book was adapted to the Broadway stage where it recently received nine Tony award nominations, including one for Best Play. For years now, Walt Disney Pictures has owned the rights to the novel, and with its now recent success the studio is hoping that the project will find new life that will actually follow through this time around.
Deadline reports that the studio has hired Jesse Wigutow to adapt Peter and the Starcatchers for them, with no indication of what form the film will become. Back in 2005, Disney had hired Jay Wolpert to adapt the film for 3D animation, but that never came to fruition. With an arrangement for Disney Theatrical,Peter and the Starcatchers has been off-Broadway for three years now until the play moved to the Brooks Atkinson Theater last month where the stage musical opened.
The story follows the young orphan Peter (who doesn’t learn of his surname until the original novel) in a “fast-paced adventure after he and his mates [The Lost Boys] are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger.” They are joined by the female lead of Molly, who eventually turns out to be the mother of Wendy and her two brothers from the Barrie’s first story of the fantastical boy.
The film also has series potential as three following novels have also been produced, meaning a trilogy could in fact form using the source material. As stated above, there’s no indication if Disney is aiming for a live-action adaptation, an animated version, or a CGI version. Likely, the film will undergo a live-action production with 3D effects, as the pirate play within the source material could intrigue some fans of Pirates of the Caribbean, not to mention that the character of Pan is a classic Disney hero.
We’ll keep you updated as development progresses on the film.