Walt Disney Pictures
Continuing their successful trend of live-action remakes, Disney is now developing a brand new version of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, the studio first adapted it as a live-action and stop-motion combo in 1996, directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and produced by Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi. Skyfall director Sam Mendes is currently in talks to helm this new version.
The novel follows the young, orphaned James Henry Trotter who lives with his two cruel aunts after his parents tragically die. He ends up making his escape after he accidentally grows a giant, magical peach by using it to travel across the Atlantic Ocean with a group of equally magical bugs — a grasshopper, centipede, earthworm, spider, ladybug, silkworm, and a glow-worm.
The original 1996 film received very positive reviews when it was released and featured a voice cast including the likes of Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss, Simon Callow, and David Thewlis. Whether or not this new iteration would use stop-motion like the original film is unknown; it’s more likely the film will utilize CGI for the numerous bug characters and massive peach.
Mendes’ talks are in the very early stages, according to reports, but the film has already found its screenwriter in Wild and Brooklyn’s Nick Hornby. Joe Roth is also looking to produce.
Mendes is a critically acclaimed director, known for helming films such as American Beauty (for which he won several Oscars), Revolutionary Road, and the two most recent James Bond films, Skyfall and Spectre.
He’s repped by CAA and The Agency (UK).
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Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by Deadline.