The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up should just go ahead and be renamed to The Boy Who Refused to Die, because we’re going to keep getting Peter Pan movies until the end of civilization. Disney is eyeing Jude Law to play Captain Hook in their upcoming live-action remake titled Peter Pan & Wendy. As reported by Variety, the film will be directed by David Lowery, who helmed the studio’s 2016 reboot of Pete’s Dragon. Lowery is directing from a script he co-wrote with his Pete’s Dragon collaborator Toby Halbrook.
Disney’s 1956 animated adaptation of the children’s story by J.M. Barrie is easily the most iconic interpretation, so it’s no surprise that the studio would tap Peter Pan for a live-action reimagining considering they’re hard at work remaking virtually every one of their animated classics. But it’s worth noting that there has yet to be a successful live-action Peter Pan movie. Steven Spielberg’s Hook is tightly wrapped in nostalgia but was a critical and commercial disappointment. P.J. Hogan’s 2003 film Peter Pan was well-received but was a box office bomb, and Joe Wright’s disastrous 2015 prequel Pan was a dud of near-mythical proportions, Hugh Jackman’s glorious facial hair notwithstanding. Peter Pan is an attractive property for studios, due to its almost universal recognition and existence in the public domain, but modern audiences have simply never demonstrated a strong interest in the story.
That said, Law is a fine choice to play the iconic villain. He’s done some memorable bad guys in the past, most notably the unsettling crime scene photographer Maguire in Road to Perdition. Hopefully he imbues Captain Hook with a similar level of menacing intensity. Peter Pan & Wendy is reportedly expected to be a theatrical release rather than a Disney+ exclusive, but no specific release date has yet been set.