SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -


The lit­tle boy who never grew up is get­ting his child­hood fleshed out, ex­plor­ing how he got to Nev­er­land, be­came leader of the Lost Boys and made his ac­quain­tance with a cer­tain mono- handed sea cap­tain. The man in the direc­tor’s chair is – per­haps un­ex­pect­edly – Joe Wright, though any­one who saw his imag­i­na­tive Anna Karen­ina will know he’s got the chops for a sump­tu­ous pe­riod piece.


Wright’s big­gest cast­ing headache ini­tially seemed to be find­ing an un­known to carry the movie, with Wright even­tu­ally find­ing young Levi Miller af­ter a looong search. In the midst of WWII, the baby Peter is dumped at a grim Kathy Burke- run or­phan­age by his mys­te­ri­ous mum ( Amanda Seyfried), who aban­dons him with a pan­pipe chain around his neck. It’s from this drab re­al­ity that the born rab­ble- rouser finds him­self be­ing Shang­hai- ed off to the sec­ond star to the right and straight on till morn­ing, cour­tesy of a fly­ing ship

run by a ne­far­i­ous pirate…


… but not that pirate. Pan’s big bad is in fact Black­beard, who’s been busy pluck­ing war or­phans from their beds to work as slave labour in Nev­er­land. This is Hugh Jackman in glo­ri­ously OTT, mous­tache- twirling mode, giv­ing it two bar­rels of camp the­atrics – rather rem­i­nis­cent of his thes­p­ing dop­pel­ganger from The Pres­tige – with a suit­able un­der­score of louche men­ace. Qual­ity wig­gage too.


But what of Cap­tain James Hook? Well, the fop­pish fu­ture friend of croc­o­diles is in the mix too, played by Gar­rett Hed­lund although he’s nei­ther hooked nor a cap­tain yet. In fact he’s an In­di­ana Jones- es­que ad­ven­turer who Peter meets at Black­beard’s min­ing camp. The two man­age to strike up a firm friend­ship, with Hook aid­ing Peter’s es­cape, although per­haps by the end of the movie this kin­ship might find it­self sev­ered… prob­a­bly some­where near the left wrist, if we were to guess.


In the end, Wright’s big­gest cast­ing headache has been Tiger Lily – the princess of the colour­ful na­tive tribe that Peter and Hook stum­ble upon who dis­cov­ers some­thing spe­cial about that pan­pipe trin­ket. Given Pan- cre­ator JM Bar­rie’s un- PC de­pic­tion of the tribe – called * cough* the Pick­aninny – it’s kicked up a big stink to have porce­lain­skinned Rooney Mara play the part.



Peter Pan fans will be cheered to find much familiar. Mer­maids will be en­coun­tered – played by Cara Delev­ingne – while you can ex­pect Black­beard’s come­up­pance at the fi­nale to re­sult in lots of or­phan chil­dren with no par­tic­u­lar place to go. What can we call them? Who will lead them? Se­quel, any­one?


Pan ar­rives in 2D and 3D on 17 May 2015.

That was ei­ther a big bucket of fairy dust or one mas­sive wave. When some­one points a gun at you, you do the robot. It’s only nat­u­ral.

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