J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan – a.k.a. The Boy Who Never Grew Up – has been depicted many times on the big screen and television alike, in both live-action and animated form. It’s now relative newcomer Levi Miller’s turn to portray the character in Pan, the upcoming film that examines how Peter found his way to Neverland – and how he forever changed life in that magical place, thereafter.
Pan was delayed from its originally-scheduled Summer 2015 release to a Fall 2015 launch date, with director Joe Wright citing the need for additional post-production time (specifically, in order to fine-tune the movie’s visual effects) as the reason for the move. The newly-released second domestic trailer for the project demonstrates that, if nothing else, Wright wasn’t lying when he stated that Pan makes use of some “very complex effects” in order to bring the film’s fantastical settings and characters to proper life on the big screen.
You can watch said Pan trailer, above.
The film’s teaser trailer was released well before the majority of heavy visual effects work had been completed, so it focused more on setting up the narrative for Pan. Story-wise, Wright’s movie reveals that Peter was left at an orphanage by his mother (Amanda Seyfried) for mysterious reasons, leaving the young boy to wonder about his family and where he comes from. Then, one night, Peter finds himself kidnapped by a band of marauding pirates – riding an enchanted flying ship – and their leader, the aging Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman), who transport him to that mystical world known as Neverland.
Pan trailer #2 dives a bit deeper into what Peter learns about his destiny when he arrives in Neverland, while also providing a better look at Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) as the young James Hook – in the days before he and Peter had become the worst of enemies – as well as Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) playing Tiger Lily. The decision to change Tiger Lily and her people from being Native Americans has already rubbed several people the wrong way, for obvious reasons. It’s certainly possible that feelings will change on that matter once the movie is released and the full context for the creative decision is revealed, of course.
Ice Age: Continental Drift screenwriter Jason Fuchs’ Pan script doesn’t necessarily appear to alter that much about the traditional Peter Pan mythos (the Tiger Lily change aside); rather, it goes about filling in the backstories for characters like Peter and Hook in ways that some filmgoers will no doubt find easier to swallow than others. Execution will be the key here, of course, but Fuchs managed to impress WB enough with his Pan work for the studio to entrust him with the job of writing another big-budget mythical adventure for them – namely, the DC comics film adaptation Wonder Woman. So that’s an encouraging sign.
Similarly, Wright’s past directorial efforts have all been quite visually striking, be they period pieces (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) or more contemporary dramas (The Soloist); he’s also shown off his knack for imaginative world-design in the fairy tale-inspired thriller Hanna as well as his highly-stylized cinematic take on Anna Karenina. Pan, judging by the latest trailer footage, will be as visually lush and creative as anything else Wright’s made to date – albeit, with a bigger-budgeted look to the whole thing.
Basically, there’s a lot to like about Pan – including a strong cast and great visuals – but some of the film’s artistic choices seem a bit dubious, right now. At the very least, though, Wright’s movie should be a pretty (if hollow) feature – one with a pleasantly playful tone and eye candy that may be worth the price of admission, on its own.
Pan opens in U.S. theaters on October 9th, 2015.
Source: Warner Bros.