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Prequel to ‘Peter Pan’ to Hit the Big Screen?

28 March 2011 No Comment

At the company’s annual shareholders meeting last week, Disney president and CEO Bob Iger told those in attendance that the studio is tinkering with the idea of bringing “Peter and the Starcatchers” -a prequel to “Peter Pan” - to the big screen.

Disney went as far as hiring a screenwriter to adapt the book of the same name, written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson in 2004, but Iger said that while they “considered making it a movie… we haven’t made a decision on that yet.”

Iger did mention, however, that the company has been testing the material onstage at both the La Jolla Playhouse and currently in an Off Broadway production and the New York Theater Workshop.

Reports say that Ben Brantley, the Times primary theater critic, even gave the stage adaptation a glowing review:

All sinking sensations should feel this sensational. When the H.M.S. Neverland goes down in “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the blissful exercise in make-believe that opened on Wednesday night at the New York Theater Workshop, it’s the most enthralling shipwreck since James Cameron sent the Titanic to her watery grave in the late 1990s (and picked up a crate of Oscars).

Mr. Cameron, of course, had digital magic, green screens, hundreds of extras and a $200 million budget at his disposal. The directors of “Peter and the Starcatcher,” Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, have a small stage, a ladder, some rope, thunder and lightning effects that might have been in use a century ago, and a cast of exactly a dozen. Yet for my money, going down with the Neverland is a heck of a lot more fun — and ultimately more convincing — than any big-screen equivalent.

The show will run through April 3, but where it goes afterward is anyone’s guess; “Who knows what will happen after that,” Iger said.

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