Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, SPECTRE) is, according to a story at Variety, in early talks to helm a live-action James and the Giant Peach movie for Walt Disney Pictures.
The studio is also in talks with bestselling author and two-time Oscar nominee Nick Hornby (Brooklyn, An Education) to adapt Roald Dahl’s children book for the big screen.
First published in 1961, James and the Giant Peach was Dahl’s first children’s novel and is officially described on the late author’s website as follows:
James Henry Trotter lives with his two horrid aunts, Spiker and Sponge. He hasn’t got a single friend in the whole wide world. That is not, until he meets the Old Green Grasshopper and the rest of the insects aboard a giant, magical peach!
Disney previously brought to the big screen a primarily stop-motion animated James and the Giant Peach movie directed by Henry Selick. Released in 1996, the film featured the voices of Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss and Susan Sarandon.
The new James and the Giant Peach arrives on the heels of Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, also based on a Dahl book and released to theaters this past July. Although The BFG performed modestly at the domestic box office, critical reviews were largely favorable. Click here to check out CS’ own positive thoughts.
James and the Giant Peach also marks another live-action adaptation of a former animated feature for Disney. Their upcoming slate includes Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book 2, Cruella, Maleficent 2, Dumbo, Mulan, Winnie the Pooh, Pinocchio, Genies, Night on Bald Mountain, The Little Mermaid and The Sword in the Stone. A live-action Tinkerbell movie starring Reese Witherspoon is also in parallel development to a live-action Peter Pan directed by Pete’s Dragon writer and director David Lowery.