After exiting “The Hunger Games” franchise earlier this year, director Gary Ross has been kicking the tires on a few movies. He signed on for “Houdini” over at Summit, and while he was rumored to be eyeing “Tarzan” at Warner Bros., reps for the director told us that simply wasn’t the case. But having already proven he can get a new franchise off the ground, Disney is hoping he can take an established name to the next level.
Since the spring of 2011, Disney has been developing “Peter And The Starcatchers,” a Peter Pan prequel of sorts based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Just a couple of months ago, Jesse Wigutow (“Eragon“) was brought on and now THR reports that Ross is negotiating to direct. The story takes place before the events in “Peter Pan” and follows Peter and Molly running around merry old England searching for treasure while battling pirates, and making sure it doesn’t come in the hands of Black Stache (who later becomes Captain Hook). The story features characters mostly not found in J.M. Barrie‘s tales and it has huge franchise potential: there are already three sequel-prequel books on shelves, as well as a Tony-winning Broadway production.
Ross is developing ‘Starcatchers’ but between this and “Houdini,” there’s no word on which will go next. But we just hope that the sci-fi pic “Outback” with Carey Mulligan at FilmDistrict that was set up last year is still an option, because that’s what we’d want to see next from the helmer.