After making the decision to leave Panem behind this past spring, director Gary Ross could be heading next to Never Never Land. The filmmaker is in talks to direct Peter and the Starcatchers, a Peter Pan prequel based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

Disney optioned the book all the way back in 2005 with the intention of turning it into a 3D CG feature, but wound up adapting it into a Tony-winning stage musical first. With fairy tale retellings now the hottest thing in Hollywood, however, the studio’s giving it another shot. More details after the jump.

The long-simmering Peter and the Starcatchers took a step forward in May as Jesse Wigutow signed on to write the script. The story follows a young Peter and his adventures on a ship called the Never Land, which is headed toward a land ruled by the evil King Zarboff. On the journey, he befriends a girl named Molly who tells him about a mysterious trunk full of “starstuff” that they need to keep away from the dread pirate Black Stace (who later becomes Captain Hook) at all costs.

Like The Hunger Games, Peter and the Starcatchers has the potential to be the start in a blockbuster franchise, as Barry and Pearson’s book is the first in a series of children’s books. Toss in the fact that the stage version moved to the Great White Way and picked up some five Tonys this year, and it’s no wonder Disney’s eager to get the wheels turning on this thing.

Ross is in an enviable position right now, having just come off of the massively successful The Hunger Games, and has a number of different options to choose from. However, the famously selective director has yet to announce his next move. In addition to Peter and the Starcatchers, he’s also attached to do Summit’s Houdini spy film.

[Source: THR]

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