EXCLUSIVE: The hardworking Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson has been set to play menacing farmer Mr. McGregor in Peter Rabbit, Sony’s live action/CGI adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s 150-year-old children’s book.
Pic will be directed by Will Gluck, and Gleeson joins Rose Byrne in the other live-action role, while James Corden voices Peter, and Daisy Ridley and Elizabeth Debicki also provide voices. Production starts at Australia’s animated VFX studio Animal Logic in January with an eye at a April 2018 release date.
The Sydney-based studio was behind the animation in The LEGO Movie. Columbia Pictures has partnered with Peter Rabbit‘s publisher Frederick Warne & Co., part of Penguin Random House UK, for the movie, and is planning a huge worldwide licensing and merchandising campaign. Doug Belgrad exec produces through his 2.0 Entertainment banner, with Gluck producing through his Olive Bridge Entertainment with Animal Logic’s Zareh Nalbandian. Jason Lust and Olive Bridge’s Jodi Hildebrand are also exec veeps. Rob Lieber wrote the script with revisions by Gluck.
Gleeson, who last year starred in an enviable quartet of films — Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Revenant and Brooklyn — adds Peter Rabbit to several upcoming films that include the untitled Darren Aronofsky project, playing the title character in the untitled A.A. Milne drama that Simon Curtis is directing, and reprising in Star Wars: Episode VIII. He’s repped by Paradigm and Dublin-based The Agency.