THE WRIGHT ST UFF
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.
PAN- TASTI C LEADING MAN
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.
OFF THE HOK?
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.
ON THE WAY
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?
WHEN TO EXPECT IT?
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.