By JENNA WOS, Copy Editor
Originally a play by J.M. Barrie, the renowned story of Peter Pan has inspired many renditions and spinoffs — an animated movie and live-action film by the same title, Hook and Finding Neverland, to name a few — but writer Jason Fuchs and director Joe Wright bring to life an inventive prequel with Pan, which hit theaters Oct. 9.
This origin story begins at a boys’ home in London, where a mischievous Peter and his fellow orphans are stolen out of their beds in the night by pirates and whisked away to Neverland to mine for fairy dust for the villainous Blackbeard. Peter finds trouble and is forced to walk the plank, and as he falls to the canyon below, learns he can fly. Because of this, a young, not-so-crooked Hook takes interest in him and they escape the clutches of Blackbeard and make their way to Tribal Territory where they meet Tiger Lily, who tells Peter of his past. A prophecy of Neverland, he is the son of a Fairy Prince and a human, is able to fly and has a destiny to return to the island to become the tribe’s greatest warrior, the Pan.
The $150 million film, according to hollywoodreporter.com, displays spectacular special effects that create this fantasy land — pirate ships flying past swimming fish in floating water bubbles, glowing birds soaring through the luminescent forest and massive crocodiles jumping out of the illuminated Mermaid Lagoon — all with a soundtrack to match. The Tribal Territory is kaleidoscopic with vibrant huts, decorations and costumes, which are intricate for each character — especially Blackbeard with his feathered collar and “BB” hairpins and Tiger Lily with elaborate braids.
In addition to Hook and Tiger Lily, this narrative introduces a few more characters — Tinkerbell, Smee, Nibs and the Shadow — alludes to the original tale — the coining of the term “Lost Boy” and Peter mocking Hook with a “tick-tock” — and implies a future rivalry in the last lines when Peter asks, “We’ll always be friends, right, Hook?”
Starring Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Garrett Hedlund and Amanda Seyfried, Pan is adventurous, aesthetically entertaining, and a cleverly reimagined creation story of the boy who wouldn’t grow up.