15 July 2006

Dueling sequels to Peter Pan

In this corner, the Miami Herald offers an interview with its former star columnist, Dave Barry, and novelist Ridley Pearson on their second sequel to Peter Pan. Weighing in at 541 pages, it's Peter and the Shadow Thieves!

And in this corner, from Britain, the Times of London profiles Geraldine McCaughrean, author of Peter Pan in Scarlet. She knocked out all other contenders to be chosen by the Great Ormond Street Hospital to add value to its Peter Pan copyright just before it expires (barring another special act of Parliament).

But wait! The fix is in. After Barry and Pearson's Peter and the Starcatchers spent 47 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, the hospital made a late deal to allow a British edition in exchange for a cut of the profits. So now their book is also legal in the UK. But not to worry, Ms. McCaughrean! It's all for the kids, right?

Meanwhile, I can swivel my chair to the right and spot Peter Pan and the Only Children, by Gilbert Adair, published in the UK in 1987. Did the hospital get a piece of that? I can't tell.

The hospital did license James V. Hart to publish Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth last year. Its author also wrote the screenplay for the 1991 Steven Spielberg movie Hook, starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, but we shouldn't hold that against him.

our years ago Disney, never one to let money rest in parents' wallets, released Return to Never Land, sequel to its animated Peter Pan. (This time it was personal!) And, coasting through the air on that property, the company licensed a series called "Disney Fairies" through HarperCollins, featuring the character of Tinkerbell. The first title was written by Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted.

So Peter Pan may never have grown up, but he's sure had a lot of offspring.

My favorite recent adaptation of Peter Pan is P. J. Hogan's CGI-heavy movie version from 2003. The makers of that film understood that Peter's a bit of a monster, and that even off the stage his story's about playing roles, not just playing. The latest news from that quarter: Hogan has been tapped to direct a movie of Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer. Didn't I say that novel is really a fantasy?

1 comment:

fusenumber8 said...

And don't forget, of course, Alan Moore's Lost Girls, which the Great Ormond Street Hospital was oh-so pleased about.