We have seen many different versions of Peter Pan over the years. Originating in 1902, he appeared as a side character in J.M. Barrie's book, The Little White Bird, and was later in numerous other books and plays based off of Barrie's works. His first major appearance in pop culture came in 1953, when Disney Studios released the animated Peter Pan, and the character returned years later when Robin Williams played the adult Peter in 1991's Hook. Disney also released the animated sequel, Return to Neverland in 2002, and a year later a live action Peter Pan hit theaters. And just this year, Britain's ITV station aired Peter and Wendy, yet another Pan adaptation.
Just looking at the list of films and television programs starring Barrie's creation, it is safe to say The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up is something of a popular figure amongst filmmakers - a fact that will be made even more evident this October, when the character returns to the big screen in Pan, from director Joe Wright (Atonement). And now, to get fans more excited for this visually sumptuous rendition, several new and colorful posters have been released, which continue to emphasize the characters' origins as well as the film's luscious, expansive scenery.
Acting as an origin story and a reboot, the film's focus is on a young Pan (Levi Miller), working with Tiger Lily (Roony Mara) and Hook (Garrett Hedlund) - before they became sworn enemies - to defeat Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman), the evil pirate who controls Neverland. As with Wright's previous films, the elaborate costuming and lush settings are a dramatic part of the production, all of which is highlighted in the posters bearing the film's tagline: "Every legend has a beginning".
Take a look at the posters below (via Fandango):
Everyone clearly looks battle ready, with their hands at their sides and gazes straight forward, while a Neverland village can be seen in the distance, looking as though it's nestled in a jungle. But more important are the characters highlighted in the posters, as the story will focus not only on the battle between Pan and Blackbeard, but also on Pan's friendship with Hook and Tiger Lily. And that friendship may well be tested, if this film performs well at the box office. Good numbers could mean Pan and Hook developing animosity towards one another, and the story continuing on with a new take on the classic rivalry fans know so well.
While Pan may be based off a very familiar story that has seen numerous iterations over the years, Wright at least seems to be taking that tale in a new direction. By introducing new characters, like Jackman's Blackbeard and Cara Delevingne's Mermaid, he is opening up new storylines and refreshing the nearly-exhausted source material. Wright's striking use of color and landscape seem right at home in Neverland, and that visual element is paired nicely with Jackman's energetic Blackbeard. If everything comes together as beautifully as these images, we may be seeing the start of a new franchise.
Pan opens in U.S. theaters on October 9th, 2015.