After a few decades of doing stuff that we have to pretend not to see on the theme park rides, Disney is apparently making a real push to diversify its canon. Deadline reports that Grown-ishstar Yara Shahidi has been cast in the live-action Peter Pan & Wendy as Tinkerbell, marking the first time the fairy sidekick character will be portrayed by a person of color.
Shahidi joins a cast that already includes Alexander Molony (The Reluctant Landlord) and Ever Anderson (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter) in the lead as Peter and Wendy, along with Jude Law as villainous one-handed pirate Captain Hook. David Lowery, no stranger to live-action Disney remakes thanks to 2016’s vastly underrated Pete’s Dragon, is set to direct from a script co-written with Toby Halbrook.
The report notes that Lowery and Co. pursued Shahidi from the earliest days of pre-production. The actress originally broke out on CBS’ hit sitcom Black-ish in the role of Zoey, the daughter of Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. Shahidi’s character became a big enough fan favorite to justify a spin-off, Grown-ish, which followed Zoey into college.
Peter Pan & Wendy was one of the many Disney projects that had to halt during the COVID pandemic, along with the live-action Little Mermaid remake starring fellow Grown-ish castmate Halle Bailey and numerous MCU films like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. It’s impossible to tell at this point when we’ll actually see Peter Pan & Wendy, but this latest report mentions that the studio is committed to a theatrical release and not, as in the case of Mulan, a straight-to-Disney+ route.