Disney has tapped the New York indie, writer/director of the scabrous “Listen Up Philip,” to pen their latest live-action feature adaptation of an animated classic. Perry’s version will focus on Christopher Robin as adult who comes back to A.A. Milne’s bear and the Hundred Acre Wood. No director has been set yet. After the blockbuster success of live action “Alice in Wonderland,” Maleficent” and “Cinderella,” Disney is also pursuing live action versions of “Mulan,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Jungle Book,” among others.
The studios raid indie talent all the time, from Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan to Marc Webb. Disney also paired one of its evergreen properties with an edgy young writer when they hired “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” director David Lowery to write and eventually direct the “Pete’s Dragon” revamp, which is in production Down Under.
Why do studios chase mavericks like Perry? Because they’re talented, cheap and easy to control. Indie finds to helm similarly ambitious projects-for-hire include Gareth Edwards, director of “Monsters,” who Legendary tapped for 2014’s “Godzilla,” “Safety Not Guaranteed” writer-director Colin Trevorrow for “Jurassic World,” and “Kings of Summers”‘s Jordan Vogt-Roberts for Legendary’s King Kong prequel “Skull Island.”
Perry’s last feature, “Queen of Earth” starring Elisabeth Moss as a young woman having a breakdown, played the Berlinale this year. Perry also wrote and directed the black-and-white road movie “The Color Wheel,” about a brother and sister who hook up.