Peter Pan never gets old.

Gary Ross is officially set to direct Peter and the Starcatchers! You can read about it here.

Peter Pan, ever timeless, seems to be having a moment similar to the one it enjoyed several years ago when an exceptional new adaptation and the lovely biopic of sorts, Finding Neverland, came out within the space of about a year. I am already predicting that Starcatchers will be one of the more worthwhile of the numerous Peter Pan spinoffs that are scheduled to (or have already, for that matter) hit screens of various sizes within the next couple of years.

Picture found here

Some favorite children’s books set to hit the big screen…

Due to a bit of family upheaval, the rather unexpected offer, acceptance and commencement of a new job in New York City, and a number of small moves around the city, I’ve been sufficiently distracted in the past few months to keep me away from this blog. There has, however, been no shortage of exciting news when it comes to new developments in the world of cinematic children’s and YA book adaptations! Here are some of the more salient announcements from the last few months:

Pinnocchio

Guillermo del Toro, visionary director behind the beautiful and disturbing Pan’s Labyrinth and producer for a surprising number  of other children’s films, will be directing a new version of Pinocchio. Judging by some of the additional talent behind this adaptation and a few first glimpses of the film’s concept art, this film promises to show us Pinocchio as we’ve never seen him before. Never a great fan of the Disney version, I’m not complaining.

Read more about it here.

Clifford

Clifford the Big Red Dog has recently been set for a new big-screen adaptation. The new production looks to have a solid team behind it, and (however far-fetched this hope is) if they stay true to the sweet and simple tone of the original book(s) that I remember pouring over at as a child, we could have an endearing family film on our hands within a few years.

Read more about it here.

Frog and Toad

Frog and Toad are Friends

Frog and Toad are Friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m very excited to report that Frog and Toad, a magical series of books adored by the last couple generations of readers, looks as if it is finally making it to the big screen. Although I still love the 1980’s claymation shorts that I grew up watching, it’s about time for Frog and Toad to get an update. With The Jim Henson Company very aptly behind the forthcoming film, I think we are safe in saying that the project has been placed in very capable hands.

Read more about it here.

Peter and the Starcatchers

Cover of "Peter and the Starcatchers"

Cover of Peter and the Starcatchers

Director Gary Ross seems to be developing an affinity for doing YA film adaptations.

There is a strong possibility he’ll be directing an adaption of Peter and the Starcatchersa hilarious and engrossing Peter Pan origins story that I devoured when it first came out, and that has just this year been made into an award-winning off-Broadway production.

After his solid work on The Hunger Games, I’m certainly on board for a Peter Pan prequel helmed by Gary Ross.

Read more about it here.

Something to look forward to: “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

via imdb.com

I keep hearing wonderful things about “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Drama at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The trailer finally debuted last week, giving us a glimpse at what all the buzz is about and rendering this film one of my most anticipated of the summer. It looks to be a thing of wonder and beauty.

Here is Metacritic’s summary of what makes this film so worthy of anticipation:

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” won both the Grand Jury Prize and Excellence in Cinematography at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and garnered comparisons to fairy tales, parables and the works of Terence Malick and Hayao Miyazaki. Those comparisons make immediate sense when you watch the first official trailer for the film, which comes to a handful of theaters on June 27th. The film follows Hushpuppy and her father Wink, who live in an abstract water-world in Louisiana known as “The Bathtub.” They struggle to survive when their community is threatened by a devastating flood and an approaching herd of beasts known as aurochs. Writer/director Ben Zeitlin adapted co-writer Lucy Alibar’s play Juicy and Delicious, cast non-actors, and collaborated with his Court 13 collective to create a unique vision that looks both familiar and magical.

One of the very young director’s first films was shot in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and both his parents are urban folklorists. This unique personal context looks as if it was influential in the film’s overall vision and tone.

You can visit the film’s site here.

Fox 2000 Taps ‘Downton Abbey’s Brian Percival To Direct ‘The Book Thief’ – Deadline.com

Cover of "The Book Thief"

Cover of The Book Thief

Fox 2000 Taps ‘Downton Abbey’s Brian Percival To Direct ‘The Book Thief’ – Deadline.com.

I’ve been waiting expectantly for some time to see who would pick up this haunting book for its inevitable film adaptation.  It is hard to imagine any film truly being able to depict the nuances of the book, but a good adaptation could be a thing of beauty.

Screenwriter Michael Petroni penned what was for me the most disappointing of the Narnia films (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), but Emmy-winner Brian Percival has directed some lovely things (Downton AbbeyNorth & South), albeit mostly for TV.

I will be following preproduction with much interest.