Trailers for big 2015 movies continue to pour in, and the latest to add to the pile is the theatrical preview for Pan (watch it above). The film is a re-imagining of Peter Pan’s origins, as directed by Joe Wright; and, as one would expect from a Peter Pan retelling by the filmmaker behind Atonement, Hanna, and Anna Karenina, Pan‘s version of Neverland – and its inhabitants – looks to be a spectacle of colorful visuals, whimsical imagery, and genuinely enchanting atmosphere.
Pan introduces us to young Peter (played by newcomer Levi Miller), an orphan who seeks to learn more about his long-lost parents, but ends up being whisked away one night by the pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) and his band of miscreants vis their magical flying ship, and taken away to a far-away world known as Neverland. There, Peter finds allies in the princess Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and the rugged James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), on his way to becoming the never-aging, flying, legend that everybody knows.
In case the casting selections – see Mara taking on the role of Tiger Lily – had not already made it obvious, the Pan trailer should drive home the idea that Wright and screenwriter Jason Fuchs (Ice Age: Continental Drift) are putting together anything but a traditional Peter Pan movie. To be honest, though, that’s perfectly fine by us; there are already so many renditions of J.M. Barrie’s story and characters out there that if you’re going to revisit the Peter Pan universe again, then you might as well make it a trip that offers some surprises along the way.
Will Pan go down as one of the more memorable Peter Pan retellings? That remains to be seen, though it should certainly be remembered as one of the better-looking takes on the story – courtesy of Wright and such folk as Wright’s trusted cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey. And based on the filmmaking approach, as well as the playful acting style of the cast, Pan seems to be making a valiant effort to capture the spirit of Barrie’s childhood fantasy parable – and make it relevant, for a younger generation and longtime fans of Peter Pan alike.
Pan opens in U.S. theaters on July 17th, 2015.