Keira Chansa, David Oyelowo, Reece Yates and Jordan Nash.
Keira Chansa, David Oyelowo, Reece Yates and Jordan Nash. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

David Oyelowo is entering uncharted territory– starring in and producing a family movie.  His latest picture, ‘Come Away’, was helmed by Brenda Chapman, who is making her live-action debut after having co-directed ‘Brave’ and ‘The Prince of Egypt’. (She also worked on the original ‘Beauty & the Beast’, ‘The Lion King’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, and ‘Fantasia 2000’.)  ‘Come Away’ reimagines the classic tales of ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and is making its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, which Oyelowo didn’t realize screened family movies.  As he told EW:

“I’m just really elated.  This is a nice departure. I guess we’re going to have a theater full of kids, which will be a new experience for me at Sundance.”

In ‘Come Away’, Alice and Peter are siblings who live with their parents and older brother in the Victorian English countryside.  Oyelowo plays their father Jack, while Littleton, while Angelina Jolie plays their mother Rose.  When tragedy strikes, the pair are set down the paths that will lead them to Wonderland and Neverland.

As Oyelowo said:

“I thought it was kind of an ingenious idea.  I think often, when you see children in film, we can patronize them a little bit in terms of the level of emotional complexity they’re afforded to play and live within.  Having four children myself, I know that they’ve had to deal with all sorts of things, both wonderful and tragic, and they handle them in surprising ways that film very rarely depicts, I would say, realistically.  Often, kids retreat into their imaginations because they feel the need to escape from something else… everyone, to a certain degree, knows what it is to be a child.”

Keira Chansa appears in Come Away by Brenda Chapman, an official selection of the Kids program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

‘Come Away’ will make its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24.  It will not arrive in theaters until March.