Emma 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.