Posted on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 by Germain Lussier
Ripping off both J.M. Barrie and Christopher Nolan in one fell swoop, a pitch is now out to Hollywood studios called Peter Pan Begins. The pitch has star Channing Tatum, screenwriter Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Shattered Glass) and producer Joe Roth all attached. Roth is responsible for producing several films with new spins on classic literature, including Sam Raimi’s Oz, The Great and the Powerful and Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart. Not much is known about the film itself except that, based on its title, it aims to tell the origin story of Peter Pan. Read more after the jump.
The Hollywood Reporter exclusively found out about this pitch, which has yet to be purchased. They correctly surmise that Hollywood is looking backward instead of forward in search of new tentpole pictures, citing the two films above as well as the upcoming Red Riding Hood and Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was announced on Monday. It’s sort of a disturbing trend because so many of these classic stories have already been done so well. However, once Disney’s Alice in Wonderland became an international box office sensation (and, I hate to say it, winner of two Oscars) everyone in town began to jump on the bandwagon.
Just knowing the basic story of Peter Pan, an origin story – such as Batman Begins – kind of misses the whole point of the character. The whole point of the character is wanting to remain a child and never grow old. But, seeing him as younger, removes that conflict. That’s why I still think Hook works so well. It takes the core of Peter Pan’s character and rips it out. What if Peter Pan grew up? This film seems to ask, what happens before Peter Pan was Peter Pan? Isn’t that just the story of a young boy who gets abandoned by his parents? Wouldn’t the audience just be waiting for him get to Neverland, at which point, the movie simply becomes Peter Pan?
Do you really think a Batman Begins-type story would service the character of Peter Pan? And, at nearly 31 years old, who would Channing Tatum play? Peter’s father? Captain Hook? And didn’t Steven Spielberg pretty much own any Peter Pan story outside of the classic Barrie story with Hook?