Emma Thompson to pen new Peter Rabbit story. Will she do the classic children's tale justice?

Emma-ThompsonEmma Thompson, writer and star of the new film Nanny McPhee Returns (out this Friday), is already planning her next children’s venture: penning a Peter Rabbit story. Thompson’s new tale about Peter Rabbit is expected to be released in 2012, marking the 110th anniversary of Beatrix Potter‘s original story, The Tale Of Peter Rabbit. Thompson told The Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson that the book’s publishers had asked her to do the job. “They asked me to write a new story, so I’m going to take [Peter Rabbit] to Scotland.”

In case you had no childhood, the original book has Peter Rabbit (not to be confused with Peter Cottontail, who can be found hopping down the bunny trail) ignoring his mother’s warning and sneaking into Mr. McGregor’s garden to eat vegetables. When Mr. McGregor sees him and chases him out, Peter leaves his shoes and jacket behind. Poor Peter Rabbit.

I feel quite nostalgic thinking about this new book. As a child*, I owned the most adorable velveteen rabbit named Bunny. Original, right? Anyway, Bunny went everywhere with me, and I thought all bunnies were just as cool as he was. As a result, I loved reading Peter Rabbit. I imagined that if my Bunny lived out on his own he would get into Peter Rabbit-like shenanigans. Ahem. Back to Emma Thompson. I saw the first Nanny McPhee, the screenplay for which was also written by Thompson, and it was cute enough. The kids I saw it with loved it, so that’s a plus. And she has an Oscar for her Sense and Sensibility screenplay, although I’m not sure how well Jane Austen translates to anthropomorphized rabbits. What do you think? Are you excited about Thompson’s new take on a classic? What other childhood characters should be introduced to a new generation?

*Full disclosure. I still have Bunny, and I love him even though he’s got more holes than a strainer, and he’s missing an ear.

Comments (17 total) Add your comment
  • Peter

    I’m sure she’ll do better than an author would.
    Which is may way of saying: nuts to actors writing kids’ books.

    • Patricia

      Ah… she has an Oscar for WRITING!

      • Peter

        For translating a novel into a screenplay, actually.

      • Genoa

        Peter, turning a novel into a screenplay is, in fact, writing.

      • Peter

        Writing this post is also writing. Does that qualify me?
        Sorry, but I’ve had it up to here with actors/actresses/newscasters who think their fame is enough to make them successful kids’ book authors.

  • Mary

    Love Emma Thompson’s wit and intelligence. She’ll do a great job!

  • Slezak

    I love her, but her recent comments on Audrey Hepburn were classless

    • MajorWhoaButWhy

      I agree. Those comments really caught me off guard, coming from her. It surprised me (and I admit I was kind of disappointed- I love Audrey Hepburn).

    • Javabooknut

      I’ll say I don’t agree with her, but based on the article I read, her statements don’t seem to be overly harsh or scathing. A person has a right to a differing opinion. Wrong in this case but what a person likes is a very personal thing. I still don’t get the allure of Pulp Fiction but well who cares.

  • dee123

    In the context of My Fair Lady I agree with her.

  • Adam

    I wonder if Peter Rabbit is any relation to Roger Rabbit.

  • Genoa

    I don’t really see the point of creating more Peter Rabbit stories, but Emma Thompson is a gifted and witty writer, and it’s probably better off in her hands than most anyone else’s. That said, I’d like to see what Emma would come up with on her own.

  • cameobrooch

    I heard her say that Beatrix Potter couldn’t write…

  • VanityFeral

    She’s really on a roll lately: bad-mouthing Audrey Hepburn, angering an entire island, and now this. Methinks she’s gone a little crazy.

  • Randall

    Why her, I wonder. Is there some relation between her and Beatrix Potter? Does she write in Potter’s style?

  • m

    and Bunny loves YOU. :)

  • No No No!

    I don’t think it is right for her to do this. The series ended. Her story won’t be “real”. This is just money grubbing exercise and disrespectful.

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