Peter Pan and Wendy, the latest attempt from Disney to turn one of their animated classics into a live-action title, has found its Tinker Bell. Yara Shahidi, whose credits include Salt, The Sun is Also a Star, Black-ish, and Grown-ish, will play the fairy who follows Peter Pan around and (traditionally) gets crazy jealous when Peter brings Wendy to Never Land. Alexander Molony and Ever Anderson are playing Peter and Wendy, while Jude Law is Captain Hook. David Lowery directs.
Deadline has the scoop on the Peter Pan and Wendy casting, revealing that Yara Shahidi will be playing Tinker Bell in the film. This will mark the first time a person of color has played the character in any form. Previously, Julia Roberts played Tinker Bell in Steven Spielberg’s Hook. The character also didn’t have any dialogue in the original animated Peter Pan, but that’s bound to change in this version.
Released in 1953, the animated Peter Pan was an adaptation of the book by J. M. Barrie. It’s been adapted to screen several times since, including a live-action version released in 2003, and the laughably bad 2015 film Pan, which was kind of a prequel. And then there’s the previously-mentioned Hook, a sequel that followed a grown-up Peter Pan returning to Never Land. Recently, the film Wendy reimagined the Peter Pan story in a modern setting.
While it’s unclear how close to the 1953 movie this new incarnation will stick, the basic story usually involves the three Darling children – Wendy, John, and Michael – who are whisked away to Never Land by Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. There they encounter all sorts of adventures as well as the nefarious Captain Hook. Alexander Molony and Ever Anderson are playing Peter Pan and Wendy, respectively. And Jude Law is set to play Captain Hook.
I’ve grown weary of these Disney live-action remakes, but I’m willing to give this one a chance because it’s being directed by David Lowery. Lowery also directed Disney’s Pete’s Dragon remake, and while it didn’t do boffo box office like some of the other recent remakes, it’s definitely the best of the bunch – a sweet, earnest movie that does new things with the story. Hopefully, Lowery will find a way to do something similar here. Lowery also co-wrote the script with Toby Halbrooks.
There have been rumors that Peter Pan and Wendy would be heading straight to Disney+, but Deadline says the plan is to still release the film theatrically.
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