Now that his tenure overseeing the James Bond franchise is all but over – barring a radical change of heart, of course – writer-director Sam Mendes is beginning to seek pastures anew.
He’ll remain in the realm of high-profile tentpoles, it seems, as Deadline is reporting that the Oscar-winner has entered early talks to direct and develop a new, live-action spin on James and the Giant Peach for Disney.
It’s the latest redo of a previously animated movie to tumble off the conveyor belt over at the House of Mouse, which has found marked success through such crowd-pleasing hits as Alice in Wonderland and Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book. That streak looks set to continue long into 2017 with the release of Beauty and the Beast, indicating that Disney is likely prepping this James and the Giant Peach overhaul for release in late 2018 or, potentially, 2019.
Whatever the case, should Mendes agree to terms – Deadline cautions that negotiations are still in the early stages – he’ll collaborate with screenwriter Nick Hornby to bring the Roald Dahl favorite onto the big screen. Despite the stature of Dahl’s beloved archive, the release of Steven Spielberg’s The BFG served as a pointed reminder that engineering box office hits out of age-old fairytales is tricky business. Plus, James and the Giant Peach is riddled with fantastical elements, whether it’s oversized, talking insects or the title fruit itself. We’ll leave it to Hornby and, hopefully, Mendes to wrangle out a compelling feature film.