Update: Despite our earlier predictions, it looks like Peter Pan Begins has enough pixie dust to fly on over to Sony Pictures. Apparently Sony is in negotiations to acquire the Channing Tatum as Peter Pan pic and Billy Ray better take what he can get. I doubt anyone is lining up to scoop up the project if this deal falls through.
Earlier: Screenwriter Billy Ray is having a tough time in the business lately. His script for Fox's big screen 24 adaptation was rejected by the studio, surprisingly, since action thrillers are his forte. And even though his script for The Hunger Games is ready to go into production, things aren't getting any better if this headline is any indication of what direction he's trying to go in. The Hollywood Reporter says that he's attached, along with producer Joe Roth and star Channing Tatum, to a pitch tentatively titled Peter Pan Begins that would serve as an origin story for the boy who never grows old. There aren't any plot details available, so here's what I think on first glance.
I'm well aware of the profit generating potential of classic literary properties (Roth's Alice In Wonderland set off a development/production frenzy that has resulted in scores of beloved children's stories getting adapted or remade) and I'm interested in some upcoming movies based on Snow White and Jack The Giant Killer, but this is so unnatural. Roth's involvement is the only element of the package that seems right; Ray is best known for films like Shattered Glass and Breach while Tatum is hardly an actor I can see playing any character from J.M. Barrie's magical world.
Unless these players have something wholly original in the works, I can't see Peter Pan Begins taking flight without crashing and burning (the title alone should be enough to keep the project grounded indefinitely).