In an extremely rarethree-way partnership, Universal Pictures and Joe Roth's RevolutionStudios have joined up with Columbia Pictures to co-produce the live actionfilm of Peter Pan which is set toshoot in Queensland, Australia, in the autumn. The film, which will be directedby Australia's PJ Hogan, is being scheduled for release at Christmas2003.

Universal will release thefilm theatrically and on home video in North America and in all media in theUK, Australia, South Africa, France and all English-speaking territories;Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International will handle the film in allremaining international territories with the exception of Scandinavia, Portugaland Israel which will be distributed through Revolution's deals in thoseterritories. Revolution will control the domestic free and pay-TV distributionthrough its existing deals with Fox Entertainment Group and Starz Encore Group.Universal controls the worldwide merchandising rights for the film, while SonyMusic Entertainment controls the soundtrack.

Peter Pan will be produced by an equal financial partnershipbetween the three companies, although Revolution will supervise production.

Columbia-based powerproducers Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick are producing through their Red WagonProductions, with Patrick McCormack also producing.

The film will use cuttingedge technologies to create the fantastical sequences envisioned in JM Barrie'soriginal book. Peter Pan himself will be played by an unknown boy currentlybeing sought, while Industrial Light And Magic (ILM) will create the specialeffects.

The screenplay is by Hoganand Michael Goldenberg, whose work has been approved by Great Ormond StHospital For Children in London which was bequeathed the rights to the book in1937. The hospital is charged with ensuring that any adaptations are in keepingwith the spirit of the original.

Among the Australian behindthe scenes talent recruited for the film are director of photography DonaldMcAlpine (Moulin Rouge),production designer Roger Ford (Babe), and costume designer Janet Patterson (The Piano, The Portrait Of ALady).