Gary Ross is a screenwriter/director whose work I’ve always enjoyed. There’s so many movies that come out that anybody could direct that have no distinctive point of view, but Ross has penned and helmed some wonderfully unique films like Big, Dave, and Seabiscuit.
He was a terrific choice for The Hunger Games, which like Sam Raimi being chosen to direct Spider-Man, meant the studio was aiming higher than just hiring any director to do it.
Ross didn’t come back for Catching Fire, which is going to start shooting very soon, because Lionsgate is on a tight schedule to get it done and out by next November, and he left what’s obviously going to be a major franchise that’s going to have big dividends for many years to come. So what’s he going to do instead?
The prequel to Peter Pan apparently. Yes, Peter Pan has been done many times before on the big screen of course, and this is an adaptation of the novel Peter and the Starcatchers, written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. As Deadline tells us, this is set up at Disney, which is usually the home of Peter Pan, and in this story, Peter meets a Starcatcher, who catch magic powers from the stars, but there’s also a pirate and a king that want the “starstuff,” as they call it, as well.
Starcatchers has also been turned into a Broadway show, and it makes you wonder if Disney’s trying to get their own version of Wicked, the hugely popular Wizard of Oz prequel that will also probably make its way to the big screen one of these days. And as you’ve probably guessed already, there’s another Peter Pan story in the works at Sony, and there may be another fairy tale vs fairy tale scenario at the theaters again, like the two Snow White films this year.
Deadline adds that a new draft of the script is due in October, and Ross is hot to direct by next year. At one point, Ross was also looking into doing a movie about Houdini, but now Starcatchers is his main priority. Again, we’ve seen Peter Pan many times, even in recent times, but I’d like to see what Ross can do with it, and it could be a breath of fresh air to the old legend.
And in other Hunger Games news, to the surprise of no one, this weekend The Hunger Games sold 3.8 million DVDs and Blu-rays after going on sale Friday night, August 17. Hunger Games also had the biggest first-day sales for Zune Video on Xbox, and it also broke records for iTunes.
As Ron Schwartz, who’s the executive VP and general manager of home entertainment told the Hollywood Reporter: “Our motion picture event of the year is translating into a home entertainment juggernaut that is already setting new digital records and demonstrating sustained playability similar to the film’s remarkable long-term box office performance.”