It seems like an odd transition, but Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes is reportedly going from James Bond to … James and the Giant Peach?
Yes, you read that correctly. A new report indicates that Mendes — who won an Academy Award for 1999’s American Beauty and recently directed the last two installments of the James Bond franchise, Skyfall and Spectre — is now in early talks with Walt Disney Pictures to direct a live-action feature based on Roald Dahl’s 1961 children’s story about a young boy who has a fantastic adventure after encountering a giant, magical peach.
According to Variety, Mendes is in “very early” negotiations to direct the film, with High Fidelity and About A Boy writer Nick Hornby — a two-time Oscar nominee for Brooklyn and An Education — also in early talks to pen the script for the film.
Dahl’s original story follows a four-year-old boy named James who’s forced to live with his cruel aunts after his parents are killed by a rhinoceros. He escapes his depressing life after encountering a giant peach and the human-sized insects that live within it,. His wild adventure sees him crossing the ocean and dealing with various magical creatures on land, in the sea, and in the air.
The story was adapted for a 1996 animated feature directed by Henry Selick, which earned positive reviews and an Academy Award nomination for its musical score.
If the report proves true, James and the Giant Peach can be added to the list of live-action features produced by Disney that are based on previously released animated features made by the studio. One of the most recent films on that list, director Jon Favreau’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book, has earned more than $955 million worldwide so far in its theatrical run.
There’s no word on the timetable for James and the Giant Peach at this point.