Just as there are currently several Lance Armstrong biopics in various states of development, there are also multiple Peter Pan-inspired projects in the works. The Hunger Games director Gary Ross was reportedly in talks to helm Peter and the Starcatchers, while Channing Tatum and producer Joe Roth are said to be working on Neverland, with Gavin O’Conner (Warrior) sought to direct.
The third project is known as Pan, and has Hanna director Joe Wright in negotiations to direct a script by Jason Fuchs (Ice Age: Continental Drift), with Arrow‘s Greg Berlanti producing. While there is still no word on who could play Pan for Wright, (should the director end up on board) Warner Bros. sounds confident that the project will happen, as it’s being reported that an Oscar-winning actor is up for the role of Blackbeard the pirate.
According to Deadline, that actor is The Counselor‘s Javier Bardem.
Like at least one of the other projects inspired by J.M. Barrie’s immortal tale of the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, Pan takes place before the events of Barrie’s original stage play, which is the best-known version of the story.
As for the plot:
In Fuchs’ script, an orphan is taken to the magical world of Neverland, where he becomes the savior of the natives and leads a rebellion against evil pirates. Bardem would play the captain of the bad guys, Blackbeard.
Blackbeard in a Peter Pan movie? It’s certainly an original take on the story – and anyone who saw Skyfall or No Country For Old Men knows just how chilling and mesmerizing Bardem can be as an over-the-top villain. We can presume that Pan’s traditional antagonist Captain Hook shows up toward the end somehow – perhaps in a tease which sets up a sequel, which in this case would be a more direct adaptation of the source material.
The emphasis on swashbuckling is a clue that this Pan could end up being one of the more pirate-heavy live-action adaptations of the story, and it’s worth noting that this is the second prequel treatment of a classic work of literature featuring pirates we’ve heard about in the past few months, the other being Starz’ Treasure Island origin series Black Sails.
This is also not the only upcoming project to include Blackbeard, a.k.a. Edward Teach, whose exploits were the basis of many of the tropes we associate with the golden age of piracy. He was played by Deadwood star Ian McShane in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and will be the focus of NBC’s Crossbones, with John Malkovich in the role. Javier Bardem generally steers clear of big, blockbuster franchise bait, but he knows how to chew up scenery, so his personality could bring a fun dimension to this version of Pan.
Since this appears to be the furthest along of the Peter Pan projects, expect news on whether or not Bardem and Wright will be involved soon enough.
There’s currently no release date for Pan. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more details.