Walt Disney Pictures is at long last succumbing to fan's demands (cough!) for a live-action feature about the mischievous fairy gal Tinker Bell - Tink for short - with actress Elizabeth Banks set to star as the lead.
According to Variety, Tink will explore "the mischievous nature of the Tinker Bell character," as brought to life by Banks this time around. Presumably, Bank's portrayal of the blonde pixie will bear only a passing resemblance to Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie's original creation - the one with a mean streak whose jealousy led her to try and get Wendy Darling killed on her visit to Neverland.
The film is being developed by Banks' Brownstone Productions, alongside producing duo Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot (Hairspray), and McG (Terminator: Salvation). Screenwriting novice Elizabeth Wright Shapiro will take on scribing duties for Tink as well.
This is but the latest example of the Mouse House plumbing the depths of its animated film vault for inspiration. The Sorcerer's Apprentice was released in theaters yesterday; the script for Maleficent is already being written; even a live-action Cinderella movie that stars Amanda Seyfried is being developed. Clearly, Disney is taking the $1 billion worldwide gross of Alice in Wonderland (see below) to heart and is leaping head-first into its own metaphorical rabbit hole full of live-action re-imaginings.
Banks is best known for her comedic turns in films like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Zack and Miri..., as well as her brief run as Zach Braff's baby mamma on the TV show Scrubs. She dyed her blonde locks to play the dark-haired Miss Brant in the first three Spider-Man movies and has shown off her dramatic acting chops before in features like Seabiscuit and Oliver Stone's W.
This won't be the first time an established actress has played Tinker Bell on the big screen - back in 1990, Julia Roberts put on her best phony smile to play the character in Steven Spielberg's Hook, while sultry French actress Ludivine Sagnier took on the role in the 2003 Peter Pan movie. Disney released a direct-to-DVD Tinker Bell movie in 2008 (see below) that explored the origins of the fairy, though I suspect that Tink will take a different approach to her backstory.
Disney has become seemingly afflicted with a similar syndrome to that which has taken hold of the rest of Hollywood in the aftermath of the Sherlock Holmes movie. One "modernization" of a literary classic takes off at the box office and now there are identical treatments of The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island, Don Quixote, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame in the works. Likewise, Disney struck gold by revisiting Alice in Wonderland and has become convinced they have a new formula for success.
We'll keep you updated on the development of Tink and similar live-action projects from Disney as new information comes our way.
Source: Variety (via Coming Soon)