Disney Adds ‘Peter Pan’ to Its Pile of Live-Action Remakes With ‘Pete’s Dragon’ Director
Surprise! (Not really.) Disney is developing yet another live-action remake of one of their classic animated properties, this time setting their sights on Peter Pan — which sort of feels like a real shots-fired situation following the failure of Joe Wright’s Pan over at Warner Bros. David Lowery, who recently helmed the Pete’s Dragon remake for Disney, has been tapped to direct and script a new live-action Peter Pan movie.
Deadline reports that Disney has set Lowery to direct Peter Pan based on a script he’ll co-write with his Pete’s Dragon collaborator Tony Halbrooks. Although we’ve seen little of Pete’s Dragon, it looks like the studio is pretty pleased with Lowery’s work and confident that it’ll perform well. But if you’re anxious to see the Ain’t Them Bodies Saints director deliver a movie that isn’t a live-action Disney remake, there’s good news: Lowery is developing The Old Man and the Gun based on David Grann’s Vanity Fair article, with Robert Redford attached to star.
Few studios have had success with adapting J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan stories for the big screen, with Joe Wright’s Pan being the latest disappointment — and just one in a line of underperforming blockbusters at Warner Bros. And while WB’s Pan probably won’t look like much in comparison to whatever Disney and Lowery are cooking up with Peter Pan, it’s not the only remake rivalry between the two studios.
Disney is set to release Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book this weekend, and early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, with the studio already plotting a sequel and Favreau in talks to return. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has Jungle Book, the directorial debut of Andy Serkis (previously titled Jungle Book: Origins), which will similarly blend live-action with CGI. WB recently pushed their film back from 2017 to 2018, though that project at least has the potential to rival Disney’s own.
In addition to Peter Pan, Disney has live-action remakes of several other classic properties in the works, including Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast, a Winnie the Pooh film scripted by Alex Ross Perry (of all people, and yet…), Tim Burton’s Dumbo, a Cruella de Vil movie with Emma Stone, Pinocchio, Mulan and a Prince Charming film — and that’s just a fraction of the titles currently in development.