Just days after appearing on the Tony Awards with a full beard and slicked back hair, Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman posted a picture on his Instagram showing that luscious head of hair was a thing of the past as he prepared for his role as Blackbeard in the upcoming Warner Brothers film ‘Pan‘, a gritty take on the story of ‘Peter Pan’.
‘Pan’ will be directed by Joe Wright, who previously brought to theaters adaptations of sprawling historical novels, ‘Atonement’, ‘Pride & Prejudice’ and ‘Anna Karenina’. Thanks to his pedigree, ‘Pan’ is already generating award buzz, this early in production. The film seems to be a ‘Maleficent‘-like darker take on the classic tale, scripted by Jason Fuchs. It features an orphan boy named Peter Pan who gets spirited away to the mystic realm of Neverland.
Jackman plays Blackbeard, while ‘Tron’ actor Garrett Hedlund will play the more famous Pan opponent Captain Hook. Levi Miller plays Peter, while Rooney Mara plays Tiger Lily, Nonso Anozie plays Bishop and Amanda Seyfried plays Mary Darling.
The film has a release date of July 17th, 2015.
Interestingly, there are several other ‘Peter Pan’ projects in the works from various studios. Disney has an adaptation of the Broadway musical ‘Peter and the Starcatchers’ in the works, which features Peter teaming up with a girl named Molly to battle a pirate known as Black Stache. Channing Tatum is producing a Peter Pan origin movie tentatively titled ‘Neverland’ for Sony. Finally, there was a dark re-imagining also called ‘Pan’ which recast Peter as a serial killer and would have paired Aaron Eckhart as Captain Hook (in this case, a police captain) and AnnaSophia Robb as Wendy, seeking to bring this killer to justice.
But with Wright’s version actually beginning production, it’s unsure if these other projects will ever see the light of day. Then again, we did recently see two ‘Snow White’ films (‘Snow White and the Huntsman‘ and ‘Mirror Mirror‘) released within months of one another. Will audiences experience Pan fatigue?