Joe Wright’s Pan Is A Different Take On Peter Pan


By Karen Valenzuela, @VictoriaNoir89

Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Joe Wright’s action adventure film called Pan.

Peter Pan has gone through so many renditions, reboots, interpretations, sequels, and prequels since J.M. Barrie first created the character in his play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, which was staged first in 1904.

The most famous versions to date are Walt Disney’s Peter Pan (1953), and Steven Spielberg’s genius live-action film Hook (1991), a sequel with Robin Williams as a grown up version of Peter, Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, and Dame Maggie Smith as an elderly Wendy.

Now director/filmmaker Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) is trying his hand at the mischievous, flying, crowing boy we’ve all come to know and love.

Pan is a prequel of sorts to the Peter Pan story we are used to. According to this version, before Peter visited the Darling children’s room to try to catch his shadow, whisking them off to the magical Neverland where he lives with his Lost Boys, he was a young orphan boy in London. When he and some of the other orphan boys are kidnapped from their beds by Blackbeard and his pirate crew, Peter finds himself whisked off to the magical and dangerous Neverland. He and a young, rascally version of Hook work together to find their way home, eventually joining forces with Tiger Lily and the rest of Neverland’s natives to overthrow Blackbeard and his pirates.

If the newly released trailer is any indication, Pan’s Neverland is a much darker place than we saw in both Disney’s animated flick and Spielberg’s Hook—thematically, at least. Because visually, this film looks like it will be an explosion of color and sights liable to take your breath away. This will be Joe Wright’s biggest production yet, and it looks to have the makings of his best. Jacqueline Durran, who won an Oscar for Wright’s Anna Karenina in 2013, designed the costumes for the film, and they look absolutely brilliant. From the orphans and the pirates to Tiger Lily and the natives, and finally James Hook’s Indiana Jones-like outfit, Durran is making her case for another Oscar for costume design.

Garrett Hedlund as James Hook

Garrett Hedlund as James Hook

And then we have production designer Aline Bonetto, who worked with Jean-Pierre Jeunet on his masterpiece Amelie and some of his other films, which earned her two Oscar nominations. The quirkiness of Bonetto’s production design is evident in the new trailer, with so many colorful costumes and the mysterious, gorgeous settings. Even the skies that the pirate ships fly through (Yes! Flying pirate ships!) are absolutely stunning. If nothing else, Pan is sure to be a feast for the eyes.

Pan also has a lot of star power. This will be Australian 11 year old Levi Miller’s first film ever. (Imagine your first movie gig playing Peter Pan in a Joe Wright film, and at 11 years old!) Miller aside, however, Pan boasts Hugh Jackman as the deliciously dastardly Blackbeard, and with amazing facial hair and wicked teeth, it must be said.

Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard

Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard

Garrett Hedlund of Tron fame is James Hook, who looks to be something of a good guy, as opposed to his usual bad guy role in Peter Pan films. And Tiger Lily is played by Rooney Mara, known for her role in the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

There have been some negative opinions expressed on Mara’s casting as Tiger Lily, considering the character has prior to this been portrayed as a Native American girl. Accused of whitewashing by critics, Joe Wright actually seems to have gone with a completely new approach to the native population in his version of the fictional Neverland. We see a few shots of the natives in the new trailer and Wright looks to have presented a completely different community than the “redskins” Barrie describes in his original work, instead focusing on pulling in a mixture of native cultures and people from all across the globe.

Levi Miller is a newcomer as Peter

Levi Miller is a newcomer as Peter

Other members of the cast include Adeel Akhtar (The Dictator) as Mr. Smee, Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones) as Bishop, Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables, Big Love) as Mary, and Cara Delevingne (Anna Karenina) as the mermaid.

Pan arrives in theaters on October 9, 2015.

Let us know in the comments below what you think about the film and/or the new trailer!

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