Disney is doing something revolutionary: A live-action version of Peter Pan! Pete’s Dragon director David Lowery is undertaking this game-changer of a movie.
The movie will be directed by David Lowery, who also directs Disney’s upcoming Pete’s Dragon. And that’s really the silver lining here: Disney is clearly feeling confident about that particular remake, which is set for release later in 2016.
Peter Pan was a 1953 Disney Animation. Originally a novel by J.M. Barrie it has been adapted a total of seven times since Disney took it on (not counting the character’s appearance in popular culture, most recently Once Upon a Time).
Aside from Disney’s own sequel, there was the 2003 version starring Jeremy Sumpter (our collective pre-teen crush, don’t lie), Rachel Hurd-Wood and Jason Isaacs. And of course, this author’s personal favorite: Hook (1991).
And within the last year alone, we’ve seen three standalone Peter Pan adaptations.: A British TV series titled Peter and Wendy re-imagined the story as told to a terminally ill child. Pan at Warner Bros. was a major flop, with Rooney Mara’s Tiger Lily being something we’re all now trying to forget. And then of course there was NBC’s Peter Pan Live! from 2014.
Yet another Peter Pan movie might seem like overkill, but Disney is clearly trying to reclaim the story and ‘bring the franchise’ home, so to speak. We’ll be interested to see who gets cast, and how Lowery handles the story.
Other upcoming live action adaptations of Disney Classics include but are not limited to Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, The Sword in the Stone, Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, and Dumbo.