It has been over 23 years since the theatrical release of Peter Hewitt’s fantasy comedy The Borrowers. Now Deadline brings word that Universal Pictures is in the process of developing a modern reboot of classic 1997 live-action film adaptation of Mary Norton’s children’s novel. The project hails from the original film’s studio Working Title and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway scribe Patrick Burleigh.
In addition, Conrad Vernon, who is known for directing hit animated films such as Shrek 2, Monsters vs. Aliens, Sausage Party and The Addams Family, has officially entered negotiations to helm Universal’s The Borrowers reboot. Should the deal pushes through, this would mark Vernon’s first live-action project as a director. His next projects are MGM’s animated sequel The Addams Family 2, which is currently set for an October 2021 release, and Warner Bros. Pictures’ long-in-development Jetsons animated film.
The Borrowers is a family action-adventure that centers around a family of tiny people who secretly live in the walls and floors of an English house that belongs to a normal-sized family. In order to survive, they must sneakily borrow items from the big people. The film was directed by Peter Hewitt from a screenplay written by Gavin Scott and John Kamps. It starred John Goodman (Monsters Inc.), Jim Broadbent (Iris), Mark Williams (Harry Potter films), Hugh Laurie (House), Bradley Pierce (Jumanji) and a young Tom Felton (Harry Potter films).
The original film was based on the 1952 children’s fantasy novel by Mary Norton, which had already been adapted for the screen several times now. Before the 1997 film version, it was first adapted into a TV film by NBC in 1973 and was then followed by a BBC TV series in 1992. The story was also famously adapted into a Japanese animated film in 2010 titled The Secret World of Arrietty by acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki for Studio Ghibli.
The Borrowers reboot is written by Patrick Burleigh with Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner sets as producers. Working Title’s President of U.S. Film, Alexandra Loewy, will oversee the project with Universal’s SEVP Production Erik Baiers and VP Production Lexi Barta.