Musician Gavin Friday & U2’s Bono reimagine ‘Peter & The Wolf’ for new Max short film

The new animated short film Peter & The Wolf reimagines Sergei Prokofiev’s classic symphony as a contemporary tale following 12-year-old Peter, who’s grieving the loss of a parent.

The film features music and narration by composer Gavin Friday and illustrations by U2’s Bono, based on their 2003 project for the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Friday, who spearheaded the project’s transition to the screen, is a longtime friend of Bono’s and was quite familiar with his artistic talent, but says it wasn’t easy to turn the rocker’s drawings into what fans will see in the film.

“The biggest challenge was how do you animate these drawings because they’re quite freeform and expressive,” Friday tells ABC Audio. 

Bono briefly appears in the film to help that transition, with the film’s co-director Elliot Dear explaining it was their goal to stick to the rocker’s mostly monochromatic look.

He shares, “We’ve kind of taken as much as we can from Bono’s lead on that stuff to try and maintain some fidelity to the original artwork.”

When it came to his narrator duties, Friday says he tried to imagine what the movie would’ve been like if Tim Burton directed it.

“It went all black and white in my head and it went sort of semi gothic,” he says. “In a fun way, almost like kids like to be sort of scared, but not totally scared. So that was the sentiment.”

On screen, Gavin’s narrator is a not-so-scary fly given the nickname Gavin Flyday.

“He’s the fly on the wall,” co-director Stephen McNally explains, with Friday adding, “We all found it quite tongue in cheek that this tiny little creature with wings has a deep and dark voice.”  

Peter & the Wolf premieres Thursday, October 19, on Max.

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