With Disney’s Maleficent a certified box office hit, it looks like audiences are still eager to see their favorite fairy tales come to life in a darker, grittier fashion than the animated musicals of years past. The Mouse House too has an Alice in Wonderland sequel on the way, and for its part, Sony has been developing Pan, its Peter Pan origin story from director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement).
That film has been making its way through development, with Levi Miller set to play the title character and Garrett Hedlund and Hugh Jackman as Hook and Blackbeard, respectively. However, fans who are anxiously awaiting the film’s summer 2015 release date now have their first look at one of the lead characters, courtesy of Jackman himself.
The X-Men: Days of Future Past star took to his Instagram account to share a picture of himself – presumably in the makeup chair – as gets into character as Blackbeard. See the below image for an idea of how he’ll look in the film.
Jackman’s bald, bearded face is nothing if not dramatic and certainly brings a sleeker, somewhat more stylish flair to the sinister Blackbeard, whose most recent high-profile big-screen portrayal was that of Ian McShane in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. It’s hard to judge exactly how effective the character will play in full costume in the finished film, and Jackman’s look does call to mind his portrayal of Jean Valjean in the Oscar-winning musical Les Miserables (see below).
(Sidenote: This also explains why Jackman was sporting an impressive amount of facial hair, during his stint as host for the 2014 Tony Awards Ceremony – before having his scruff-gone-mad cut down a bit and groomed for his role as Blackbeard, that is.)
Despite this similarity, we’re hopeful that Jackman can breathe fun, entertaining life to the legendary pirate and bring a bit of the intensity he lent to last year’s Prisoners. After all, playing such an evil character will mark an interesting change of pace for the actor, career-wise, and give him a much-deserved break from playing everyone’s favorite adamantium-clawed superhero before filming begins on X-Men: Apocalypse and/or the third Wolverine film (which may be filming back-to-back).
Pan also stars Jackman’s Les Miserables co-star Amanda Seyfried, Rooney Mara and Adeel Akhtar and could prove to be one of next summer’s biggest films, especially considering that it’s been over a decade since the last big-budget Peter Pan hit screens.
What do you think of Jackman’s bald-headed interpretation of Blackbeard thus far? Are you excited to see this new take on the Peter Pan story, or is this one re-imagined fairy tale too many? Let us know in the comments section below.
Joe Wright’s Pan hits theaters on July 17, 2015.