Sony’s Columbia Pictures have announced that production of the live-action/CGI Peter Rabbit film will begin in January 2017 for a 2018 release. Initially announced as The Never Before Told True Story of Peter Rabbit, the film, now titled Peter Rabbit, will star James Corden as the voice of Peter and Rose Byrne in the female lead role of “Bea”. Daisy Ridley and Elizabeth Debicki have also just been announced, in unspecified roles. Details are fairly thin at present. Peter Rabbit will be directed by Will Gluck (Annie), and made at the Australian animation studio Animal Logic, who have created magic on gems such as Happy Feet, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and Charlotte’s Web. The screenplay will be penned by Rob Lieber (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day).
Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House UK said: “We at Penguin Random House UK are delighted to be working with Columbia Pictures. As custodians of Beatrix Potter’s brand and legacy, we are excited about the opportunity this production will bring to engage a whole new audience with the world of Beatrix Potter and one of her best-loved characters, the mischievous Peter Rabbit.”
Peter, who was inspired by Beatrix’s childhood pet rabbit Peter Piper, first appeared in her first children’s book The Tale of Peter Rabbit. His other two major roles were in his cousin’s stories The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of Mr. Tod. He also makes a brief appearance in The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies, so the film may include Benjamin and family in the extended storyline.
In the meantime we’ve got a new Beatrix Potter story, The Tale of Kitty in Boots, published for her 150th birthday.