One of the more popular trends on the small screen these days is the adaptation of classic stories for a modern audience. From Beauty and the Beast to Sleepy Hollow, these contemporary takes on what are traditionally period tales are becoming more and more common. Recent news that ABC is developing a modern-day Phantom of the Opera has only fueled this notion even further.
Now it sounds like another in-development series is taking a similar approach. According to Deadline, Fox is working with Imagine Television on League of Pan, a contemporary version of the J.M. Barrie classic Peter Pan. Andrew Miller – best known for his work on The CW’s short-lived witch drama The Secret Circle – is writing the show, which will feature updated versions of all the classic characters from Barrie’s story.
The series is set 15 years after the Lost Boys (Pan’s band of mischievous friends) have left Neverland and will see them reunited in modern-day Los Angeles, where they realize that someone is hunting them down one by one. The show’s general narrative – forcing old friends and teammates to reconnect and band together to fend off a killer – does sound eerily like Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel Watchmen, and its concept of picking up with the former inhabitants of Neverland back in the real world vaguely calls to mind Steven Spielberg’s Hook.
That being said, if Fox is looking to make a darker twist on Barrie’s tale, this approach might have potential for fans of similar shows, such as ABC’s Once Upon a Time. That series – which has also featured Pan among its large cast of characters – has developed a significant following, in large part to its fresh spins on classic fairy tales as well as newer tales like Frozen.
Barrie’s original story was thematically focused on maintaining innocence and a sense of hope and imagination, as Peter and his Lost Boys made the conscious decision never to grow up and face adult responsibility. League of Pan sounds like it will depict a far more cynical perspective that (hopefully) will provide some interesting commentary on what happens when that innocence is lost and hope is crushed.
This is a direct 180-degree turn from the source material that could turn off some fans, but if done right, perhaps the show can serve as an interesting juxtaposition to its inspiration. Let us know if you think League of Pan could prove a fun, exciting update to Peter Pan (or if the idea of a modern twist on the material sounds like a bad idea).
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on League of Pan.