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"Peter Pan" Soars Again
June 24, 2002

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• Columbia Pictures/Sony
 

For Christmas 2003, the boy who wouldn't grow up soars across movie screens with three motion-picture studios. Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Revolution Studios are joining forces to create the first live-action version of J.M. Barrie's enduring classic "Peter Pan." Director P.J. Hogan ("My Best Friend's Wedding") and producers Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick ("Gladiator," "Stuart Little") are teaming to bring all the thrilling adventure and emotion of this timeless tale to the big screen in ways never before imagined or possible. The Red Wagon Production will begin principal photography this fall in Queensland, Australia, with Patrick McCormack also producing.

New cutting-edge technologies will allow director P.J. Hogan to portray the breathtaking and fantastical visuals envisioned in the original material, including Neverland, flying, Tinker Bell, and Peter's legendary battles with Captain Hook. One of the revolutionary and defining elements of this adaptation is that for the first time in any version of the tale, the title role of Peter Pan will be played by a boy. The filmmakers have conducted a worldwide casting search to find the young actor who will embody Peter Pan.

The screenplay, adapted from Barrie's original story by Hogan and Michael Goldenberg ("Contact"), takes its inspiration from Barrie's trademark sophistication and wit.

Stephen Cox, Chief Press Officer for Great Ormond St. Hospital for Children NHS Trust and the Institute for Child Health, stated, "Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, London, was bequeathed the rights to 'Peter Pan' in 1937. The Hospital still maintains control today, ensuring that modern day adaptations are in keeping with the spirit of the original. We have read the script by P. J. Hogan and Michael Goldenberg and are delighted to report that we feel that it is in keeping with the original work whilst communicating to an audience with modern sensibilities. We're optimistic and enthusiastic about the project."

"As we approach the centenary of the original play's first performance, it is great to know that the public's love of 'Peter Pan' is as strong as ever," Cox continued. "This film will help to keep the magic of 'Peter Pan' alive for years to come."

"This is 'Peter Pan' as J.M. Barrie originally intended -- a heroic, magical, real boy who fights pirates, saves children and never grows up," commented P.J. Hogan. "I'm thrilled to bring this personal favorite to audiences around the world."

Producer Lucy Fisher said, "We are dazzled by J.M. Barrie's timeless tale of the great adventure of youth and the immortality of imagination." Doug Wick added, "We are excited by the challenge of finally bringing Peter, in all his full-action glory, to the big screen."

To fully realize their vision for the film, the producers have brought together a remarkable team of some of the best behind-the-scenes experts in the business, including cinematographer Donald McAlpine (Academy Award(R) nominee for "Moulin Rouge"), production designer Roger Ford (Academy Award(R) nominee for "Babe"), costume designer Janet Patterson (three-time Academy Award(R) nominee for "The Piano," "Portrait of a Lady" and "Oscar and Lucinda") and composer James Newton Howard ("The Sixth Sense"; Academy Award(R) nominee for "The Prince Of Tides" and "My Best Friend's Wedding"). Industrial Light + Magic will provide the special visual effects and animation for "Peter Pan," and Scott Farrar (Oscar(R) winner for "Cocoon," Academy Award(R) nominee for "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" and "Backdraft") will serve as visual effects supervisor.

The creative inception and development of "Peter Pan" took place at Columbia Pictures, who later invited Revolution Studios on board as a partner to oversee the production. As the project's creative elements took shape, Columbia and Revolution began the search for a third studio partner to take over the domestic rights to the film, and Universal Pictures enthusiastically joined the team. This unique arrangement leverages the unique marketing strengths and creative contributions of three major studio partners working together on a global campaign for the film.

Stacey Snider, Chairman of Universal Pictures, said, "We're honored to be joining forces with our friends at Columbia and Revolution, and we couldn't be more excited that P.J. Hogan will be bringing J.M. Barrie's original vision of his timeless classic to the screen, fully realized for the very first time."

Amy Pascal, Chairman of Columbia Pictures, said, "The evolution of digital and special effects technology has finally caught up with J.M. Barrie's wondrous imagination. We have been developing 'Peter Pan' for five years and we are delighted that this extraordinary film can finally fly with a dream team of resources and talent marshaled by Columbia Pictures, Revolution Studios and Universal Pictures."

Joe Roth of Revolution Studios commented, "We were swept away by P.J. Hogan, Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher's extraordinary new vision of this classic story. 'Peter Pan' promises to combine the depth of J.M. Barrie's original with all of the magic that current technology has to offer, and Revolution Studios is thrilled to be a partner in its creation."

"Peter Pan" will be produced through an equal financial partnership between Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Revolution Studios. Universal Pictures will distribute the film theatrically and on home video in North America, and in all media in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, France and all English-speaking territories. Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International will release the film in all remaining international territories with the exception of Scandinavia, Portugal and Israel, which will be distributed through Revolution Studios' existing deals in those territories. Revolution Studios will control the free and pay television distribution through its existing deals with Fox Entertainment Group and Starz Encore Group. Revolution Studios will supervise the production of "Peter Pan." Universal Pictures controls the worldwide merchandising rights for "Peter Pan," and Sony Music Entertainment controls the soundtrack for the film.


SOURCE: Universal Pictures, Revolution Studios and Columbia Pictures


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