Retrofitting Pan for the Harry Potter Generation

Director Joe Wright appeared with Pan newcomer Levi Miller last week at LA’s London Hotel and showed clips and explained how he’s reworked the J.M. Barrie classic.

Wright (Anna Karenina, Atonement) has applied his renowned theatrical flair to Pan (Oct. 9), setting it during the outbreak of World War II and melding it with bits of Harry Potter, Oliver! and Steven Spielberg. But judging from the 20 minutes of footage screened, it’s fantastical as well, with flying Pirate ships and oceans in the sky. It’s sure to be one of the buzzy Oscar craft contenders for cinematography (Seamus McGarvey and John Mathieson), production design (Aline Bonetto) and costume design (Jacqueline Durran, who’s already won for Anna Karenina).

It’s an origin story about the boy who refuses to grow up in which “enemies become friends and friends become enemies.”

In Wright’s version (scripted by Jason Fuchs), however, Pan’s (Levi Miller) a mischievous 12-year-old orphan, who escapes to Neverland and helps lead a revolt as the chosen one against Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). He enslaves the Lost Boys and wages war with the natives, led by warrior Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara).

Wright explained that he made Pan for his young son, Zubin Shankar, whose love of trampolines inspired a ritualistic fight among the natives of Neverland involving Garrett Hedlund’s James Hook (think Indiana Jones before losing his hand and turning to the dark side).

“It’s a re-framing of the Peter Pan myth,” Wright added. “I pored over the novel and was surprised by how strange it was.” He told me afterward that it’s very Freudian, with Mrs. Darling describing how she rearranges the minds of her children.

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Movies, Production Design, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production

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