Walt Disney Studios‘ search for the next Peter Pan is officially underway…in New Zealand.
According to castittalent.com, here’s what Disney is looking for:
- Boys to play character age 12 – 14 of any ethnicity.
- The boys auditioning must be 100% available for the entire shoot in Canada April through to August of 2020 and will need a current passport.
- Athletic boys, who perhaps have experience in gymnastics, fencing, taiaha, Kapa Haka, martial arts etc a plus.
- There will be a daily rate for shooting and all expenses (including a parent traveling for the shoot) will be covered by the production.
Disney also promises daily shooting rates as well as to cover all expenses–including the parents’ travel expenses–for whichever lucky boy gets the role.
What can we expect from this new Peter Pan?
From these prerequisites, we can expect plenty of action sequences between Peter Pan and his on-hand nemesis, Captain Hook. But, it appears Disney wants a Peter Pan that can do far more than just handle a sword. We are excited to see how Disney incorporates more of these desired martial arts into the impending battles.
Disney also issued a character description of Peter Pan which states:
A boy aged 12-14, any ethnicity. The personification of boyhood, a magical youth who never has to grow up, Peter is the undisputed ruler of Neverland, a magical land where pirates and mermaids and magic is the regular order of life. A magnificent and fearless swordsman and fighter who does constant battle with his old nemesis, Captain Hook, Peter is the leader of a group of perpetually youthful Lost Boys (and Girls), yet his own origins, and how he himself arrived in Neverland, remains mysterious — until much later. In London to retrieve his mischievous lost shadow, Peter flies Wendy Darling and her siblings away to Neverland for the adventure of their lifetime.
Unfortunately, Disney is only looking for New Zealand-based child actors, and you don’t have much time to turn your son or favorite nephew into a Kiwi. Audition submissions are due by January 31, 2020. You can read the full casting ad here.
Did you know: Peter Pan was originally played by a woman
When playwright J.M. Barrie first wrote and premiered Peter Pan on stage in London, Pan was played by Nina Boucicault. English law prohibited minors under the age of 14 be in stage productions after 9 pm. So, Boucicault was chosen. Her short hair and petite figure allowed her to easily transform into the role.
After the show’s first run, a female Pan became a tradition. The 1924 silent film featured Betty Bronson as Peter, and even the musical version, adapted by Jerome Robbins, initially extended the tradition with Mary Martin. While boys have come to fill the role, the tradition of a female Pan continued as recently as a TV movie in 2014. Actress Mia Farrow even took on the role in a Hallmark production in the 1970s.
But this tradition was out of the Playwright’s hands. Barrie always wanted to see a real boy play the ultimate symbol of boyhood. He did not live to see it. And Disney has made it clear their Pan will be a boy.