Sam Mendes in Talks to Direct Disney’s Live-Action ‘James and the Giant Peach’

Sam Mendes is in “very early” negotiations with Disney to direct a live-action version of “James And The Giant Peach.”

Nick Hornby is also in preliminary talks to write the screenplay for the project, 20 years after Disney released the animated movie, directed by Henry Selick and based on the Roald Dahl book.

The original book, both fanciful and macabre, was published in 1961 and centered on 4-year-old James Henry Trotter, who lives in England with his loving parents until his parents are killed by a rhinoceros. He’s taken in by his two cruel aunts and leaves several years later thanks to an old man giving him magic crocodile tongues which produce a massive single peach — which contains human-like insects who befriend James.

The 1996 film, a combination of live-action and stop-motion animation, generated $29 million at the domestic box office. Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi produced with Paul Terry starring as James and Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes as the aunts.

Mendes directed the last two James Bond movies — 2012’s “Skyfall” and 2015’s “Spectre.” Other directing credits include “Road to Perdition,” “Revolutionary Road” and “American Beauty,” for which he won the best director Academy Award.

Hornby wrote the novels “High Fidelity” and “About a Boy” and  the scripts for “Wild” and “Brooklyn.”

“James and the Giant Peach” is the latest in a growing number of live-action titles based on Disney animated films including “Maleficent,” “Cinderella” and “The Jungle Book.” The studio is developing live-action movies such as “The Little Mermaid” with Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson and “Cruella” with Emma Stone.

Mendes is repped by CAA. Hornby is repped by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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