L. Frank Baum got Victor Fleming’s perfect and gigantic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, which was the first fantasy epic to take home Oscars. More than six decades later, J.R.R. Tolkien got Peter Jackson’s six film cinema achievement with his The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Lewis Carroll got two perfect adaptations from Tim Burton for his Alice in Wonderland characters. And C.S. Lewis got three worthy adaptations from Michael Apted and Andrew Adamson of his books in his Chronicles of Narnia series. All of these earned Academy Awards, and reflect the best of the fantasy genre by filmmakers.
But J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, The Lost Boys, and Neverland have yet to see their definitive version. The most famous adaptation is probably the Broadway musical, which starred Mary Martin and Sandy Duncan as Peter. Peter Pan & Wendy, the title of Barrie’s 1911 novel, is also the title of a new film coming directly to streaming on Disney+ next month. Directed by David Lowery (The Old Man and the Gun), Peter Pan & Wendy, stars new young actor Alexander Molony as Peter, Ever Anderson (the young version of the title heroine in Black Widow) as Wendy Darling, Jude Law as Captain Hook, Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell, Alyssa Wapanatâhk as Tiger Lily, Joshua Pickering as John Darling, Jacobi Jupe as Michael Darling, Molly Parker as Mary Darling, Alan Tudyk as George Darling, and Jim Gaffigan as Mr. Smee.
Will this be the one? Here’s the first trailer for Peter Pan & Wendy:
While we’re on the subject, what other fantasy adaptations do you consider as great and significant as the above books adapted into movies? Maybe Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon, and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan? How about Robin Hood, or Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island? These, too, have all received worthy adaptations on the big screen over the past century.
Look for Peter Pan & Wendy streaming on Disney+ beginning on April 28, 2023.
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg