There are numerous Peter Pan projects doing the rounds in Hollywood right now, all with their own specific take on JM Barrie’s classic tale. I’m sure that most of them will never go into production, but one or two may well.
Working from a list in The Hollywood Reporter, here’s a little compare-and-contrast of the various potentials doing the rounds:
John Swetnam‘s script The.Never.Land reputedly transforms the relationship between Pan and Wendy into something Twilight-ish (repressed and squirm inducing?). It’s said to be a big project, full of FX and lavish expense. Swetnam himself has tweeted about how he fears for the project when bigger names are doing their own Pan films too:
Big producer out with Peter Pan pitch today. This may kill my Neverland script that just went out. Shit. Must find punching bag asap.
It’s not clear what producer he means, but this could be a reference to Jeff Rake, who has been shopping his concept to do Peter Pan as a family adventure film. Really – Peter Pan as a family adventure film. Who’d have thought it? Surely it’s only a matter of time before somebody thinks to do a Peter Pan cartoon.
The highest profile project so far would be Pan, a film that would likely star Channing Tatum, and likely as the young Captain Hook. It’s an origin story and the hero will again be Peter, but the catch this time is that Peter and Hook are brothers. Joe Roth is producing and, encouragingly, Billy Ray is writing the screenplay. But… brothers? Really? I don’t know what you’d do with that.
Of course, the Nottingham gambit has come in to play too. Aaron Henry and Kirk Kjeldsen are out and about in Hollywood trying to set up Neverland. This one has Peter Pan as a child-abducting villain, and Hook as the hero.
That sounds “thrillerish”, though I’m sure a full-on horror version is inevitable at some point. It is, after all, a story about a creepy figure who acts like a kid despite being somewhat advanced in his years, creeping into childrens’ bedrooms at night and luring them away to a place rife with danger and threat. And the book’s final scene, in which Peter contemplates doing something really very awful, always did leave me feeling a tad upset.
The amount of killer Santas we’ve had, you’d think a bit of Pan slasher action would be inevitable.
For the record, I’m a fan of PJ Hogan’s Peter Pan from about ten years ago.