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Jim Gaffigan on how Disney's live action Peter Pan remains 'grounded' to authenticity of the animated classic
You can fly! You can fly! You can fly! The Green Knight writer/director David Lowery will take audiences on a fantastical journey Neverland next year with Peter Pan & Wendy (the filmmaker's second Disney remake after Pete's Dragon).
While little is known about the modern update of the 1953 animated classic, SYFY WIRE does have an exclusive tease from one of the movie's cast members: Jim Gaffigan (playing Captain Hook's bumbling first mate, Mr. Smee, in this version).
"We’re still shooting it and I don’t want to jinx it up, but I feel like David Lowery really knows…not that I’ve worked on huge movies before, but he knows what he’s doing," the comedian/actor tells us during a Zoom conversation about Pixar's Luca. "It’s not just a big budget movie that’s just big and there’s some stunts…there’s a lot of moving parts to Peter Pan ... I don’t see any holes, either. Sometimes as an actor, you’re like, ‘Hmmm,’ but with Peter Pan, it’s all A-team. What David Lowery has brought is grounded in an authenticity, so it’s not breaking any of the rules of Peter Pan."
Gaffigan goes on to say that while "the cartoon version is problematic," it remains "a sacred story to people." He promises that Lowery has "kept that authenticity and there’s nothing cute added on — kind of like, ‘Now, he’s a lawyer!’ It’s none of that stuff. So, it’s kept that authenticity and it’s gonna be the most grounded one [most likely referring to Disney's roster of remakes]. Grounded meaning that [it] leans towards authenticity. So, I think people will be excited."
First announced in the spring of 2016, the film was penned by Lowery and his usual writing/producing partner, Toby Halbrooks. However, the project didn't really pick up momentum until last March when Alexander Molony (The Reluctant Landlord) and Ever Anderson (daughter of Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich) were cast as Peter and Wendy, respectively.
Several months later, Jude Law (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald) was tapped to take on the role of Pan's pirate nemesis, Captain Hook. Yara Shahidi (Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia) is set to play Peter's mischievous fairy companion, Tinker Bell. Production kicked off in March of this year.
Peter Pan & Wendy exclusively flies onto Disney+ sometime next year. Luca swims onto the streaming platform Next Friday, June 18.