Sunday, August 10, 2014


Hugh Jackman, rehearsing for Pan
If only this was Hugh Jackman  in swordfighting rehearsals for Alias Hook! But sadly not. If you read my post on Crossbones, you'll recall that Jackman is playing arch-villain Blackbeard in a new live-action Peter Pan movie, Pan, in production as we speak, to come out from Warner Bros. next summer.

People are finally starting to realize that Captain Hook is everybody's favorite character in the Peter Pan universe. Seriously, who else besides J. M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, could ever think of that bratty, heartless eternal boy as the hero? These days, we know better.

(Over on Disney's Once Upon A Time, Hook is practically the star of the whole show thanks in no small part to sexy Colin O' Donoghue in the role. But then, Disney is notorious for graverobbing its own past successes in the fairy tale realm to accommodate changing tastes. Just look at Maleficent.)
Colin O'Donoghue, Once Upon At Time

But in the upcoming Pan, it looks like the only way they can think to make a good guy out of Hook is to team him up with Pan against an even more dastardly villain—Blackbeard.

This is not an entirely unprecedented idea. Barrie tells us that James Hook was once "Blackbeard's bosun." So it's not too much of a stretch to imagine the two of them running amok in the Neverland together.

In the Pan version, the boy Peter (to be played by newcomer Levi Miller) is an orphan whisked off to Neverland. He meets James Hook as a young man in Blackbeard's crew, and they become shipmates and allies.

Garrett Hedlund is cast as Hook, most recently seen as Dean Moriarty (the Neal Cassady figure) in On The Road, and John Goodman's mysterious driver in Inside Llewyn Davies. It'll be interesting to see if he can ditch that modern hipster vibe to play Hook.

Apparently, Peter and Hook will be friends at the start of the story. But the badder Blackbeard gets (one assumes), the closer they come to an epic rift as each one has to choose what side he's on. 
Garrett Hedlund: hipster Hook?

I'm not sure if making James Hook the buddy—or even mentor—of little Peter is the best use of such a witty, sardonic, and complex character. And as to the whole idea of Hook as one of Blackbeard's crew? Well, the James Hook in my novel laughs at the crack-brained notion that, rumors aside, he would ever actually sail with Blackbeard —who was a well-known lunatic! Just sayin'...

So, not the way I would (or did) tell the story, but it's good to know Captain Hook and Peter Pan are still going strong in pop culture!

(Notice I'm not even going to mention the upcoming Peter Pan Live TV project, due in December. That's another post...)

Hey, maybe Hugh is playing Blackbeard (instead of Hook) because he's saving himself for the lead in Alias Hook! Well, a girl can dream, can't she...

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