Just a few months after DreamWorks brought Roald Dahl‘s The BFG to life on the big screen, Disney is taking another one of the author’s timeless works and turning it into a new movie. Disney has brought on Spectre director Sam Mendes to direct a live action adaptation of James and the Giant Peach. This year actually marks the 20th anniversary of the animated adaptation of the same novel, which featured a voice cast that included Richard Dreyfus, Jane Leeves and Susan Sarandon.
Deadline reports that Sam Mendes will direct and develop the story, with Nick Hornby set to write the screenplay. Negotiations are in very early stages at this point, but this would be quite the change of pace for the director, who is coming off of two back-to-back James Bond films, Skyfall and last year’s Spectre. The filmmaker announced a few months ago that he would not be returning to the franchise.
James and the Giant Peach centers on a lonely nine-year-old English orphan who is sent to live with his horribly wicked and greedy Aunts Spiker and Sponge. Unwanted by them and forced to perform their menial chores, the boy dreams about going to New York City. When a magical 20-foot peach appears on a tree outside his house, James’ curiosity overcomes him and he takes a bite.
After he sneaks a taste of the giant fruit, a glowing tunnel appears inside the peach, James enters it and is introduced to Centipede, Earthworm, Ladybug, Glow-worm, Grasshopper and Miss Spider — a diverse group of bug companions who are quick to tell the hapless boy about their hopes and dreams for the future. The magical fruit and its inhabitants go rolling out to sea, launching the worried passengers on a series of wildly imaginative adventures with New York City as their final destination. The 1996 animated adaptation took in $28.9 million during its theatrical run two decades ago.
This project is just the latest of many live action adaptations that Disney has put together lately. Both Cinderella and The Jungle Book have been recent box office success stories for Disney, and their next project, Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, has been set for release on March 17, 2017.