Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pan, the Peter Pan origin tale, set to fly into theaters next summer


I have to admit I'm more than curious to see Christopher Walken as Captain Hook in the live television production of the Peter Pan musical coming to NBC. While I clearly recall what the network did to the Sound of Music - or maybe because I remember what they did, I'm expecting this adaptation to be a hootWalken, who is a glorious dancer, will play a dancing Captain Hook. Shiver me timbers! And yet. While I truly love the actor, in part because my husband is one of those legions of men who do a mean Christopher Walken, there's something too modern about him. Walken as Hook, dressed in pirate finery, puffy shirt and all? It doesn't quite fly.

What will fly? Pan, touted as an origin tale based on characters by J.M. Barrie, just might. Slated for a summer 2015 release, Pan is being directed by the visionary Joe Wright - remember his failed but ambitious Anna Karenina? While Peter Pan feels like it's been done to death, if you're looking for a new take on an old story, Wright seems like the guy to do it. In his version, scripted by Jason Fuchs, there's not a Tinkerbell listed on the imdb page but there is a Blackbeard. He's being played by Hugh Jackman who can don a puffy shirt with the best of them. Captain Hook, on the other hand, is being played by the younger Garret Hedlund (On the Road, Inside Llewyn Davis and the upcoming Unbroken). Rooney Mara (Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is Tiger Lily, while Amanda Seyfried is listed on imdb.com as 'Mary'. I may be having a brain lapse but I can't recall the character so I would guess she's part of this re-imagined version. 

While the script relies on Barrie's characters we can expect them - and their new friends - to veer off the Peter Pan story we know by heart. In this iteration we won't see Peter as the audacious boy who wins Wendy's heart; in this 'before' story, Peter Plan (Levi Miller) is "a young orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan."  

What do you think? The Peter Pan musical that's going to air on live television or Pan, a whole new take on a beloved book and play?

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