David Lowery, who established himself as a talent to watch at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival with “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” has further cemented his working relationship with Disney: the “Pete’s Dragon” director will next helm a live-action version of “Peter Pan.” This continues the ongoing trend of flesh-and-blood adaptations of classic animated films, from “Alice in Wonderland” to “The Jungle Book,” though Disney surely hopes this new take will fare better than last year’s “Pan.”
It’s also another example of an indie auteur breaking into the high-profile world of fairytales and children’s books. Alex Ross Perry, whose “Listen Up Philip” was co-produced by Lowery, is currently writing the script for a live-action adaptation of “Winnie the Pooh.” Toby Halbrook, who co-wrote the “Pete’s Dragon” script (and was another co-producer of “Philip”), will once again partner with Lowery on the screenplay. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
Somewhat ironically for stories about boys who refuse to grow up and talking stuffed bears, big-budget adaptations of youthful fare are apparently the new path for independent filmmakers to break into Hollywood. Hope isn’t lost for fans of Lowery’s earlier work who aren’t interested in traveling to Neverland, however: He’s also working on “The Old Man and the Gun,” the story of a thief in the 1980s set to star Robert Redford.