It has already been over three years since we last heard an update about Walt Disney Pictures’ newest live-action film adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic novel Peter & Wendy where the studio confirmed that Pete’s Dragon director David Lowery had signed on to direct. Now, Variety brings word that the long-in-development fantasy film has finally found its titular leading stars in the form of young child actors Alexander Molony (The Reluctant Landlord) and newcomer Ever Anderson, the daughter of action star Milla Jovovich.
Peter Pan & Wendy will mark the two actors’ first major roles. Molony’s acting credits include the Disney Junior’s Claude series and Sky One series The Reluctant Landlord. Anderson made her acting debut as a younger version of her mother in 2016’s action-horror film Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Anderson will next be seen in Marvel Studios’ highly-anticipated Black Widow as the younger version of Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff.
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First published in 1911, Peter & Wendy tells the story of the boy who never grows up named Peter Pan as he meets Wendy Darling and takes her along with her brothers John and Michael to the magical island of Neverland. There, they get to meet the Lost Boys and Tinkerbell, followed by many dangerous adventures against Peter’s lifelong nemesis Captain Hook.
J.M. Barrie’s iconic tale has been adapted into a live-action film a few times including Steven Spielberg’s 1991 live-action film which starred Robin Williams and Julia Roberts; and 2003’s coming-of-age film starring Jeremy Sumpter and Rachel Hurd-Wood which was probably the most recognized live-action adaptation among many young people; and the most recent one, Joe Wright’s 2016 Pan starring Hugh Jackman. However, Disney’s 1953 animated film Peter Pan has remained the most popular adaptation of the tale.
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Peter Pan & Wendy will be directed by David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon, The Green Knight) with Toby Halbrooks set to pen the adaptation. The project will be part of Disney’s growing slate of live-action films including The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, and Niki Caro’s upcoming Mulan which is set to hit theaters on March 27.
Last year, Disney has proven the success of their efforts of adapting many of their classic animated films into live-action with Jon Favreau’s The Lion King and Guy Richie’s Aladdin both earning a gross of over $1 billion.