Role for Depp pans out in M’max’s ‘Neverland’

Barrie biopic next on thesp's plate

Johnny Depp will next portray James M. Barrie, author of the play “Peter Pan,” in Miramax Films’ “Neverland,” to be directed by Marc Forster (“Monster’s Ball”). Pic begins lensing mid-June in London.

“Neverland,” adapted by David Magee from Allan Knee’s play “The Man Who Was Peter Pan,” follows how “Peter Pan” came to be staged, based on the author’s relationship with four fatherless boys and their mother in turn-of-the-century London.

Richard Gladstein will produce through his FilmColony shingle, with company’s Gary Binkow exec producing. Nellie Bellflower of Key Light Entertainment will also exec produce.

“Neverland” will be Depp’s third project with Miramax. He starred in the studio’s “Chocolat” and Dimension’s upcoming “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” helmed by Robert Rodriguez.

FilmColony brought the script to Miramax several years ago and developed the project with scribe Magee. Director of development Michelle Sy and exec VP of production and development Julie Goldstein will oversee the film for Miramax.

Gladstein produced”The Cider House Rules” and upcoming releases “The Bourne Identity” and “Levity.”

Bob Osher, co-president of production, negotiated on behalf of Miramax. Depp’s deal was handled by UTA and attorney Jake Bloom.

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