Joe Wright’s ‘Pan’ Origin Story Hits June 2015

Joe Wright on Hanna set

Briefly: The director of Anna Karenina, Hanna, Atonement and Pride & Prejudice has set his next film. Joe Wright‘s Pan will hit theaters June 26, 2015 in 3D. Though a full cast has yet to be announced, Javier Bardem is thought to be playing the villainous Blackbeard in an origin story that follows an orphan to Neverland where he saves the day and battles evil pirates. The film has been pitched for years as a “darker” take on the Peter Pan story. However, the 3D and competitive summer release makes it sound like it’s a big, rousing adventure film. Read More »

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The Counselor

Briefly: Warner Bros. has Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna) in talks to direct the studio’s new Peter Pan origin story. While the idea of a modern, gritty Peter Pan origin story isn’t the most appealing thing (Warners has been said to want to “give Pan the Batman Begins treatment”) the idea of Joe Wright directing goes a long way towards redeeming it. (Or at least towards spit-shining the pitch.)

Now Deadline says that WB has offered the prime villain role to Javier Bardem. He would play Blackbeard, the “captain of the bad guys” that are troubling Neverland, and against whom Peter leads a rebellion. So, two questions. Can he a) take the job and b) keep his hair from The Counselor? Read More »

Joe Wright in Talks for Peter Pan Origin Story

Joe Wright on Hanna set

The “reimagined fairy tale” genre is getting tired at this point, but when a really interesting director signs on to one it’s tough to complain. Joe Wright is in talks to helm a Peter Pan origin story for Warner Bros., from a script by Jason Fuchs.

Try not to get this one mixed up with the other J.M. Barrie-inspired pic, Disney’s Peter and the Starcatchers, or the other other one, Sony’s Pan. More details about Wright’s version after the jump.

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As two Snow White films gear up to go into production, the next big fairy tale that’ll be racing to the big screen is Peter Pan. Several competing projects, all with slightly altered takes on the classic J.M. Barrie tale, are in various stages of development and now one seems to have jumped ahead of the pack. Essential Entertainment has reportedly cast Aaron Eckhart, Sean Bean and AnnaSophia Robb in a dark take on the Peter Pan tale last year rumored to be called Pan, written by Ben Magid (Hack/Slash) and directed by Ben Hibon (who did the animated sequence in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One). In the film, Captain Hook (Eckhart) and his partner Smee (Bean) would chase Pan, a villainous kidnapper, whose last victim Wendy (Robb) helps track him down. Read More »

Hollywood has never been a town that likes original ideas. It likes safe and established and easy. But sometimes the attraction to stories with those qualities veers into bizarre obsession. So it has been lately with anything that looks like a fairy tale or romantic fantasy story. We’ve got multiple Snow White movies in development with two racing towards production, several possible Wizard of Oz offshoots, and similar projects like Red Riding Hood, Jack the Giant Killer and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Can we blame the fact that the Harry Potter and Twilight series are nearing the end of their run, leaving producers everywhere scrambling to find new ways to capture audiences that will no longer turn towards those mega-franchises? Do studios need something to start standing in for comic books as source material? Or is it just some zeitgeist current that leaves everyone looking towards dark romantic fantasy? Impossible to tell, really, but the trend isn’t dead yet. Peter Pan is the latest development mini-craze, and no less than five Pan projects are in play right now. Read More »

Briefly: Last week we told you about a pitch called Peter Pan Begins — a title which was erroneous, as the project is simply called Pan — which was going around town with Channing Tatum attached to star, Billy Ray writing and Joe Roth producing. Now Sony is negotiating to buy the project, with THR saying the studio beat out two other studios, and that the deal is going down for around $1m.

So that’s a million bucks for a story “which seeks to tell the origin of the flying immortal.” What’s the point? Money, of course. Joe Roth was a producer on Alice in Wonderland and, many millions of dollars and two Oscars (gag) later, applying the same approach to Peter Pan probably seems like a good idea. Billy Ray is a solid writer (Breach, Shattered Glass), so perhaps he can turn out something that doesn’t have the rank stench of a bid for Alice-style box office.

One of the most striking and surprising aspects of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I was the third-act animated sequence that explains the backstory of the Deathly Hallows. It’s a stylish and appropriately ominous piece of film. Now the director of that sequence, Ben Hibon, is set to direct a “fantasy action thriller” reworking of Peter Pan called, appropriately, Pan. Read More »

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