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Hogan flies to helm ‘Pan’

Goldenberg updating story, ILM in talks to do effects

Director PJ Hogan is in advanced negotiations to helm a $100 million “Peter Pan” for Sony’s Columbia Pictures.

Hogan, who has a first-look deal at Sony, emerged from a crowded field that had at one time included “Three Kings” helmer David O. Russell.

Hogan also helmed one of the studio’s most profitable comedies ever, the Julia Roberts-starrer, “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” which grossed more than $125 million domestically. A blind directing commitment for another picture was apparently made with Hogan in 1997 at the time of “Wedding.”

The 100-year-old chestnut from author J.M. Barrie has a history as a motion-picture project that dates back some 20 years but is now getting a thorough update from scripter Michael Goldenberg (“Contact”). Talks are already under way with Industrial Light and Magic to furnish the effects.

Sony-based Red Wagon Prods.’ Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick will produce the picture, having spearheaded Sony’s push into CGI franchises with last year’s hit “Stuart Little.”

In returning to Wick and Fisher, “Peter Pan” completes an odyssey it began some 20 years ago.

First acquired by Fisher when she was running American Zoetrope in 1980, the project had to be sold after the maverick company’s bankruptcy. Jeffrey Katzenberg, then at Paramount, scooped it up for a while, and then it was shuffled amongst producer Jerry Weintraub, TriStar, Disney and Sony jointly, and finally, back to Sony alone.

Pic will be produced in association with Allied Stars, and exec produced by Mohammed al Fayed.

Col’s veepee of production Andrea Gianetti is supervising the project for the studio.

Hogan is repped by Creative Artists Agency.

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