The trailer for Disney+’s Peter Pan and Wendy dropped just this week, and fans are rearing up to return to Neverland with this latest iteration of J.M. Barrie’s famous play. However, while David Lowery’s vision of Neverland, Peter Pan, and the Lost Boys might look like a high-flying adventure, his history with Disney remakes is about as tranquil as Captain Hook’s cannon-fire.
Disney’s live-action remakes already come with something of a bad reputation, being lukewarm at best and absolutely mortifying at worst. While there are a few notable exceptions to the rule, such as Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book adaptation, most of them have garnered a generally negative stigma.
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It certainly doesn’t help the new film’s case that its director is responsible for what some fans consider one of the worst offenders on the list. Lowery’s remake of Pete’s Dragon didn’t just miss the mark, it was a muddled mess with no connection and barely any reference to the original movie-musical apart from the names of its scruffy lead and CGI monster.
That being said, dozens of Peter Pan adaptations have come before, making the subject matter a bit more fluid than something like a firmly cemented Disney property. Although Disney’s adaptation is arguably the most famous, Lowery has a bit more freedom with his version. The question is, can it live up to the trailer?
Lowery’s vision of the Peter Pan mythos definitely looks the part, 100%. The untamed islands and treacherous, mermaid-filled waters of Neverland paired with Jude Law’s sinister Captain Hook definitely lends the trailer a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe. Additionally, the multicultural cast definitely lends an inclusive flavor without being forceful or heavy-handed in its application.
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In short, the film looks promising but the pressure is on Lowery to deliver. From what we know based on the trailer and what Disney has released, it’s shaping up to be a unique adaptation of both the original story and Disney’s animated variation. David Lowery’s Peter Pan and Wendy is set to premier on Disney+, hopefully to a warm reception, April 28, 2023.
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