MORIARTY Takes A Trip To Neverland!! PJ Hogan's PETER PAN Script Reviewed!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
Let’s just cut right to the controversial statement and get it out of the way, shall we?
The screenplay for the new live-action PETER PAN, written by PJ Hogan and Michael Goldenberg, is better than the original PETER AND WENDY by J.M. Barrie.
And let me go ahead and address something else before you even bother bringing it up.
This is not HOOK. Do not make any of your decisions about this film based on your feelings about HOOK. Despite shared source material, these are radically different movies.
And that’s a good thing.
The last two big script reviews I’ve written have been describing projects that might not happen. When I autopsied SUSPECT ZERO, it was because I’m afraid the film is so far off track that there’s no fixing it. When I gave you a peek at THE FOUNTAIN, I was careful not to spoil any of the surprises of Aronofsky’s film in the hopes that Warner Bros. does the right thing and makes the movie.
But this time out, I want to write a love letter.
I want to set aside the possible and discuss the probable. This film’s got its greenlight. Full speed ahead.
This sumbitch is gonna happen.
As I understand it, they’re aiming for a December 2003 release for the film. If they start shooting this October in Queensland, Australia, as planned, then they’ll have no problem making the date. They’ve hired a number of the major department heads already, and so far, things are very promising.
Every good rock band has got to have a great rhythm section, and in the world of feature films, I consider the cinematographer and the production designer to be the rhythm section. In this case, director PJ Hogan has got some serious power he can rely on. Donald McAlpine is a great cinematographer whose work with Baz Luhrmann on MOULIN ROUGE and ROMEO + JULIET has marked a real rennaisance in the palette of a guy who has been an accomplished and professional craftsman since hitting the map with MY BRILLIANT CAREER in 1979. He’s worked on films as disparate as Alan J. Pakula’s criminally underrated ORPHANS, action classic PREDATOR, late-career Mazursky hits like DOWN & OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS and MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON. I have confidence that McAlpine will rise to whatever artistic challenge PJ Hogan offers in his efforts to create a persuasive fairy tale universe.
He should be aided mightily by Roger Ford, a workhorse of the Australian film industry who got his start on DOCTOR WHO back in the ‘60s. His work with John Duigan (FLIRTING, THE YEAR MY VOICE BROKE, SIRENS) is quite lovely, evocative of very specific times and places. But there are two particular films that make him more qualified for PETER PAN than almost anyone out there. He was the production designer on both BABE and BABE: PIG IN THE CITY, two of the most exquisitely crafted fairy tales ever committed to film. The detail in both films is both original and somehow immediately familiar. There’s a rich tradition of interpretations of Peter Pan and the other characters that Barrie created that Ford can draw from in creating his world, and the challenge for them is similar to the challenge that faced Peter Jackson and his remarkable team of collaborators when they began to give shape to Middle Earth. Jackson was smart enough to involve the artists whose work had defined Tolkien, like Howe and Lee, and I hope Hogan and Dean dig deep in their research. In particular, I hope to god they look at the work of Greg Hildebrandt, whose illustrated PETER PAN is worth tracking down, no matter what sort of e-Bay/Amazon/Google hunt you have to go on.
These are all the images I was able to track down. It’s just a taste of how deep his work on the subject is. There’s an image of the children leaving the nursery, flying away into the night as their parents stare out the window, unaware of what’s overhead, that totally captures the mood of what Hogan and Goldenberg have written. Hildebrandt captures the menace of the pirates and the breathtaking beauty of a world of perpetual summer and the power of Tiger Lily and the wild child nature of Pan. Tinkerbell, based on Hildebrandt’s love, is particularly striking in his work. Overall, his work reminds you that PETER PAN is a story about children... but not necessarily for children.
I don’t profess to being an expert on JM Barrie or his books or his plays or the original PETER PAN. I was raised on the Disney film, and that’s the strongest impression of the characters that I have. When I finished reading Hogan’s script, though, one of our chatters steered me to a website where I was able to read the full text of PETER AND WENDY. Reading it back to back with the script, the first thing that is apparent is the enormous care that Hogan and Goldenberg have taken in trying to translate not only the tone of Barrie’s work to the screen, but also the exact language where they can. One of the things I learned from reading the original book is that it’s very much a book written in the voice of an adult, for other adults. It’s full of sly wit and genuine remorse for something lost. It’s not as blatantly cracked as Lewis Carroll’s ALICE books, and it’s not the same kind of involved fantasy as Frank Baum’s OZ books. If anything, it reminds me of William Goldman’s novel THE PRINCESS BRIDE (which is quite a different beast from Rob Reiner’s equally wonderful film version), the “good parts version” of a non-existant book that Goldman loved as a kid. In that novel, Goldman is a character, a presence throughout. The way he edits the story and tells it to his own kid reveals much about him. In PETER AND WENDY, there’s a tone that draws us in, that earns our confidence. The fact that so much melancholy creeps in around the edges is one of the things that distinguishes Barrie’s work, and right from the start, this script works to preserve that.
”All children, except one, grow up.”
That’s how the book opens.
Sounds of a forest. Exotic bird calls. The wind rustling through tree tops.
TITLE: All children grow up...
The words fade. Then:
TITLE: Except one.
That’s how the script begins.
If the purist in you freaks out about breaking the single sentence into two title cards and rearranging the sentence slightly, then I don’t know what to tell you. I hear Paxil is quite mellow. You will never, ever be satisfied with an adaptation, and you should not read any further. Just go directly to the Talk Backs to begin bellowing.
Everyone else, though... you’re in for a treat. This is a lovely ode to the art of storytelling itself, and begins, appropriately, with Wendy in the nursery telling stories to younger brothers John and Michael. Wendy uses descriptions lifted straight from Barrie in the novel as she describes Captain Hook and his band of pirates, including “Cecco, who cut his name on the back of the governor at Goa; Bill Jukes, every inch of him tattooed; Noodler, whose hands were fixed on backwards,” and more. John and Michael are a receptive audience, and we see how much they adore their sister and follow her. We also get a chance to see Nana, their giant Newfoundland dog who doubles as a nanny.
We meet their family, and the screenwriters have added a new family member, Aunt Millicent, who serves as the voice of “acceptable” society. She’s the one steering Mr. Darling’s future at the Bank where he works, the one steering the social life of the Darlings, and the one who first realizes Wendy is a young woman now, and no longer a mere girl.
Aunt Millicent is also the one who decides that Wendy has to move out of the nursery and stop spending time telling stories to the boys.
This simple event, and the appearance of a strange leaf on the wind, are the two things that start this adventure, and right away, there is a matter of fact quality to the fantastic that is very appealing. I hate movies where actors stand around and gape at awe at some teamster offscreen with a piece of tape on a stick. Spielberg pioneered an entire generation of filmmakers who seem to have carved whole careers from the CGI reaction shot. Although I’m not an enormous fan of MINORITY REPORT, the FX in that film managed to all seem like an extension of the story rather than the reason for the story, and Scott Farrar, the visual effects supervisor for that film, is working on this one. I’m hoping that when the magic starts to creep in around the edges of the frame in this film, Farrar and his team will remember to actually make it all seem magical. The challenge for Hogan is find children who can make it all seem completely real. Thankfully, as he writes in the script:
... [W]hat troubles a grown-up will never trouble a child. For instance, a child may remember to mention, years after it happened, that they once met a ghost and had a lovely game with it.
At one point, Lasse Hallstrom almost made this film with Christian Bale starring, just after EMPIRE OF THE SUN. Steven Spielberg was also attached to the film for a while, but these were all different versions, developed by different writers. Spielberg’s version was written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter Parkes, who wrote WARGAMES and SNEAKERS together. Parkes, of course, is now one of the lead execs at DreamWorks. They wrote their version back in the ‘80s, and it supposedly played it traditional, much like this new version.
And, no, by the way. Despite all the times he’s said it to the press, Michael Jackson was never actually attached to play Peter Pan.
Give Spielberg a little credit.
I mean, even though HOOK is a mess, at least he didn’t release it as a musical. He shot it as one. John Williams actually wrote nine songs with Leslie Bricusse... who, I might add, is responsible for the lyrics to the mind-bogglingly awful “Can You Read My Mind?” on the SUPERMAN soundtrack. Two of those songs are in the final film, and I think “When You’re Alone” actually got an Academy Award nomination.
Considering who has tried to make this film before, why should any of us get excited about PJ Hogan making the movie?
The same, of course, might have been asked about another PJ before he made LORD OF THE RINGS.
And like that other PJ, Hogan has a real passion for the material at hand. I don’t know if anything about MURIEL’S WEDDING or MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING suggests that he is right for a giant budget fantasy film, but he’s been trying to make this for years now. He walked away from the chance to do a $60 million Warner Bros. feature film version of SALEM’S LOT to do this film. He’s aiming to open the film just before the 100th anniversary of the debut of Barrie’s original PETER PAN, which is in 2004. Timing and passion and the right creative team all add up to me believing that this guy deserves a little faith.
I do believe in fairies. I do... I do.
Right now, the biggest bit of casting news is Jason Isaacs, playing both Captain Hook and Mr. Darling, father to Wendy, John, and Michael. Isaacs is currently working like a mofo, with a featured role in HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS this Thanksgiving and THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN currently shooting in Prague, where he’s playing Campion Bond, according to IGN Film Force. Of all these roles, it’s the work he’s going to be doing in PETER PAN that most interests me, because this script is a thing of beauty, rich and deep, and the dual role he’s been given is easily the best of his career. Meanwhile, the search is underway in London and other places for kids to fill out the cast, including the lead role. Peter Pan. The spirit of youth incarnate. Yeah... that’s not pressure or anything.
This is a chance for Hogan to leave his mark on this character. If he finds the right kid, he sets the standard against which all future performances will be judged. This is going to be a huge film, massively budgeted, and the script is so good that I truly believe this is it. The definitive PETER PAN.
Earlier this year, there were reports that the god-daughter of J.M. Barrie was outraged by the script, saying to THE LONDON TELEGRAPH, “It is a shame the play is being treated in this way. My father and Mr. Barrie would have been horrified. Mr. Barrie just was not interested in that sort of obvious sexuality and romance, and it certainly is not in the original story.”
I’m not sure who told her what, but she’s not talking about the script I read. Maybe she got this confused with NEVERLAND, the film about J.M. Barrie that is shooting now with Johnny Depp playing the author. I haven’t read that script, though, so I don’t know for sure. Whatever the case, she was mistaken, and Jonathan Bing and Cathy Dunkley in VARIETY set the record straight. They broke the story about Universal joining Revolution Studios and Columbia as partners on the film, replacing Disney. This is where I learned about McAlpine and Ford and Farrar and costume designer Janet Patterson (THE PIANO, PORTRAIT OF A LADY) and score composer James Newton Howard, a choice that has many score geeks cheering.
They also ran a quote that seemed to directly contradict the earlier reaction from the god-daughter, the official reaction of Stephen Cox, the chief press officer of the Great Ormond St. Hospital for Children NHS Trust and Institue for Child Health in London. “We have read the script by P.J. Hogan and Michael Goldenberg and are delighted to report that we feel that it is in keeping with the original work whilst communicating to an audience with modern sensibilities.” The Hospital, of course, controls the rights to Barrie’s work, a gift he left to them in perpetuity. If they’re happy, it’s a good sign. This is a major asset for the Hospital, something they depend on. I think they are very wise to endorse the film based on what I read. Goldenberg worked on the very literate script for CONTACT, and he’s brought that same level of intelligence to the script for this film. The dialogue is moving and smart and never overly sentimental.
MRS. DARLING sits on the side of WENDY’s bed.
Your father is a brave man, but he will need a special kiss before he can face his colleagues tonight.
There are different kinds of bravery, John. There is the bravery of thinking of others before oneself. Your father has never brandished a sword or fired a pistol – thank heavens – but he has made many sacrifices for his family and put away many dreams.
Where did he put them?
(with a smile)
In a drawer. And sometimes late at night we take them out and admire them.
Are they pretty?
Oh, yes. A put-away dream grows prettier every day. So pretty it is harder and harder to close that drawer. But he does. And that... is why he is brave.
In this film, dreams are things that can be stored in drawers, just as kisses are things that can hide at the corner of a mouth or that can be hung around one’s neck. It makes perfect sense for a shadow to be something that you can lose, the way Peter Pan loses his one night. And of course, if you lose it, you’re going to have to come looking for it...
As any fan of Pan knows, Wendy and Peter meet over that lost shadow. She helps him sew it back on when he can’t figure out how to reattach it. He’s very pleased by this, and he begins to crow about how clever he is, hurting Wendy’s feelings.
In Barrie’s book, it happens like this:
To induce her to look up he pretended to be going away, and when this failed he sat on the end of the bed and tapped her gently with his foot. “Wendy,” he said, “don’t withdraw. I can’t help crowing, Wendy, when I’m pleased with myself.” Still she would not look up, though she was listening eagerly. “Wendy,” he continued, in a voice that no woman has ever yet been able to resist, “Wendy, one girl is more use than twenty boys.”
Now Wendy was every inch a woman, though there were not very many inches, and she peeped out of the bed-clothes.
“Do you really think so, Peter?”
“Yes, I do.”
“I think it’s perfectly sweet of you,” she declared, “and I’ll get up again,” and she sat with him on the side of the bed.
In the script, though, Hogan and Goldenberg push it just a little further, the way they do on every page. They take an idea or a notion and they run with it:
Wendy, don’t withdraw. I can’t help crowing when I’m pleased with myself.
She ignores him. After a moment she turns to see what effect her sulk is having. He is right beside her, his face close to hers.
(in a voice no woman can resist)
Wendy... one girl is worth more than twenty boys.
You really think so?
The artful one nods.
I live with boys. The lost boys. They are well named.
Who are they?
Children who fall out of their prams when the nurse is not looking. If they are not claimed in seven days they are sent to the Never land to defray expenses.
Are there girls too?
Girls are much too clever to fall out of their prams.
Peter, it is perfectly lovely the way you talk about girls!
Throughout the script, there’s a sense of humor that has been injected into the dialogue that manages to never approach camp. It’s far more gentle than that. I shudder in horror to think of what this could have been like in the hands of, say, John Hughes circa HOME ALONE and CURLEY SUE or someone like Raja Gosnell. Hogan and Goldenberg have struck a sort of alchemy here, a beautiful balance that makes it all work just right.
John, for example, doesn’t just sputter now, the way he does so often in the book. Instead, he’s got a wonderful way with a phrase, like when he is woken up by Wendy’s excited cry:
John! Michael! There is a boy here who is going to teach us to fly!
MICHAEL rubs his eyes sleepily. JOHN fumbles for his spectacles, stares at PETER.
You offend reason, sir.
PETER floats effortlessly into a graceful backwards somersault and lands on the end of JOHN’s bed. JOHN gapes for a moment, then quickly hops out of bed.
I should like to offend it with you.
Flying on film is one of those things that always bugs me on some level. The best flight I’ve ever seen in anything is in the work of Miyazaki, in films like CASTLE IN THE SKY or KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE. There’s something particularly magical about the way he gives wing to his characters. There’s a peace to it that just makes me ache when I watch it. Hogan and Goldenberg have written some striking scenes here as the children join Peter and head for Neverland. And once they get there, they launch into a series of set pieces lifted directly from Barrie’s book, given a rowdy extra bit of life. We see Lost Boys fighting pirates in a world wrapped in winter, and we see spring start to break through and thaw the world around them. Hook’s ship is trapped in ice that starts to break up. Everyone across Neverland knows immediately that Peter is back. He’s the one that keeps the world alive and fresh.
It’s page 34 of the script when Smee goes to wake up Hook to tell him that Peter is back.
And that’s when the real fun begins.
He’s described as “cadaverous and grim, his hair dressed in long curls which look like black candles about to melt,” and from the moment he appears to destroy the watch Smee carries, he is a roaringly great film villain.
I was dreaming. Smee... of Pan.
Oh, I was tearing him so splendidly. And in the dream I was a magnanimous fellow, full of forgiveness. I thanked Pan for cutting off my hand and giving me this fine hook for disembowling and ripping throats and such homely uses as combing my hair and opening jars.
The threats of Neverland are painted as a genuine menace, hazards that can kill you. Michael and John get separated from everyone else and wander into the cave of the crocodile. YOU KNOW which crocodile. The one that’s described like this:
A singular specimen of Crocodylus Porosus, easily 50 feet long. Its mouth partially open revealing two inch long razor sharp teeth; its feet scar the ground with eight inch claws.
Running from the cave of the crocodile, littered as it is with the skeletons of pirates who have dared to face the thing on its own turf, Michael and John end up meeting Tiger Lily and being captured, with her, by Hook and his crew. They’re used to bait Peter and Wendy and the others into a fight that takes place at the Black Castle. If I have any complaint about these great action showdowns, its that they’re so big that we are almost worn out by the film’s halfway mark. They almost unbalance the film compared to the ending.
But if my worst complaint is that the pace of this thing is exhausting and that there’s almost an over-abundance of imagination on display, then that’s a pretty good complaint, as complaints go. This manages to deliver unforgettable imagery, a wonderful fantasy world that we’ve never seen realized like this, great pirate action scenes (something I never thought we’d see again after Renny Harlin single-handedly killed the genre dead), and characters that manage to reveal all sorts of depth as the script plays out. Hook and Wendy have a scene in the script where he manages to seduce her over to his service, convincing her to tell her stories to the pirates instead of the Lost Boys, and the way that scene plays out is totally believable. Hook is seemingly honest with her, and she is intrigued. She can’t help but quiz him:
Why do you hate him so?
Imagine a lion in a cage, and into that cage flies a butterfly. If the lion was free it would pay no heed to such a creature. But the lion is not free. And so the butterfly slowly drives it insane.
I could discuss this script for another 4,000 words and not get bored with it. I could compare each beat of the story to the book. I could illustrate dozens of places where Barrie wrote something lovely and the screenwriters took his ideas and expanded them into something even more remarkable.
I could discuss the startling moment that comes during the final duel between Hook and Peter that will challenge many people’s notion of what the Peter Pan story is all about, a scene that will hotly divide viewers because of the audacity of it. I like the scene a lot, and the more I’ve thought about it, the more impressed I am by it. I think it’s going to take real balls for them to try it, and I’m curious to see if any nervous executives force them to take the moment out before it goes in front of the camera.
I could discuss the way the script stays true all the way to the last line, the way it takes the ending of the book and wrenches every bit of emotion out of it, so thick with regret for the way youth fades that it just hurts.
But instead, I’ll just close by saying this: sometimes it is simply a joy to read something, a pure pleasure that is separate from anything else. Regardless of how the film turns out... regardless of what finally plays in theaters a year from this Christmas... I will always remember the remarkable movie on the page that these writers crafted.
Thank you, PJ Hogan. Thank you, Michael Goldenberg. My fingers are crossed for you on this one, and I look forward to watching this awfully big adventure you’ve laid out for yourselves.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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July 12, 2002, 10:21 a.m. CST
...anyway, sounds fantastic. I liked P.J.'s other films - and Peter Pan deserves a definitive cinematic treatment. Go Paul!
July 12, 2002, 10:23 a.m. CST
Moriarty, your recent script reviews have been some of the most enjoyable things on this site lately. If the filmmakers put even half of the heart and attention into these as you have reveiwing them, well, we'll all be in store for some dandy films! I've been a big Peter Pan for a long time and this script sounds great! Wish I could get my hands on it. HOOK was wrong in so many ways and was such a major disappointment for me. I hope this movie does it right.// Keep up the good work Mori.
July 12, 2002, 10:26 a.m. CST
...Hell of a project. Looks great, reads great. Can't be worse than Hook (what can?). Thanks again Moriarty. Let's see how many of you pessimistic bastards start to rip this one. That dialogue, if they stick with it, is fantastic.
July 12, 2002, 10:29 a.m. CST
funny name. Tee hee.
July 12, 2002, 10:33 a.m. CST
by KOLOBOS REXX
...This sounds marvelous, but I must ask: What the Hell was so wrong with "Hook"? It was Williams' and Spielburg's last GOOD film, for god's sake. Well-performed, fun, and touching... I felt it totally appropriate as a continuaion to Barrie's tale! So, Please explain.
July 12, 2002, 10:36 a.m. CST
Each of those script snippets were really good. The real test will that they can find some good kid actors to fill the role. I don't want to see Haley Joel Osment and Jonathan Lipniki in this one - find some unknowns! Same goes for Hook...
July 12, 2002, 10:55 a.m. CST
If its as good as Moriarty says it is then I'll be so happy. It sounds beautiful. I really want a damned good film like this. Lord of the Rings was the last film I got this excited about purely because I love it when people take stuff from my childhood and make it the beautful creation it can be on the silver screen now what with all the technology (UK people never go back and watch the Narnia shows from BBC because the terrible terrible effects will destroy it for you) but LOTR i didn't read till I was 15 whereas the original JM Barrie work has been read by me since I was 7 and re read so many times. ALl we need is an Alice film to top the disney one (not possible in my opinion) and my childhood dreams will be complete!
July 12, 2002, 11:16 a.m. CST
by Brian 2000
Great article Mori., got me nice and hyped up! Though, I'm not ashamed to admit that I like 'Hook'.
July 12, 2002, 11:16 a.m. CST
I'd have expected more comments by now. Two theories, 1- my understanding of the time difference accross the pond is wrong. 2 - Everyone else is quite a slow reader and not managed to get through the review yet!
July 12, 2002, 11:26 a.m. CST
I don't actually have anything to say, but isn't it easy to come up with titles for bad English Lit essays? sk
July 12, 2002, 11:28 a.m. CST
man that was a great article. thanks mori. this movie sounds very promising and i love jason issacs. but you know, i really love HOOK. i mean, in many ways, it is the DARK KNIGHT RETURNS of the peter pan world. i really enjoyed the film and idea that peter did grow up...that hook was an old man...that tink was in love with peter...it was a great story and a fine film. i'm looking foward to this new though, but i'm skeptical of the casting of peter...please don't be haley joel osmet.
July 12, 2002, 11:30 a.m. CST
I could almost hear that voice when I was reading the lines. Like a deeper version of Anthony Hopkins as Lecter. Sinister, but oh so reasonable.
July 12, 2002, 11:32 a.m. CST
The story is, and the film must be, English through and through. The film makers and location of the film (Australians in Australia, probably with English and Australian actors) mean that the movie will probably retain the books Englishness.********Christian Bale would have made a great Pan at the time of Empire of the Sun. He also would have been a great Tarzan a few years ago (he could be now, but he's too old for an adaptation of the first book).*********** Must get English actors for the children, the way Harry Potter did. Aussie kids doing believable accents would be good too, American kids less so.************** Definitely looking forward to this one, hope the studio bosses don't fuck it up. Let LOTR be a shining example of letting filmmakers do their thing. And let the Narnia adaptations come soonm too!
July 12, 2002, 11:38 a.m. CST
Robin William's shaved chest.
July 12, 2002, 11:45 a.m. CST
Did a terrific job with the underrated gem that is Muriel's Wedding. Granted this is a very different kind of project, but it's obviously a matter of heart for him. And that's the place where great films come from. The totally brilliant first 15 seconds of Muriel tell me that he can handle fantasy...
July 12, 2002, 12:01 p.m. CST
The book is much, much better than the movie. Yes, really. Read it and see.
July 12, 2002, 1:01 p.m. CST
but Mori, your wonderful article has made me anxious to see this movie. Thank you, you really are a very talented writer.
July 12, 2002, 1:14 p.m. CST
Get those two kids from THE OTHERS. I swear, that girl deserved an Oscar nod for supporting actress, and that boy was just so perfect I want to adopt him.
July 12, 2002, 1:35 p.m. CST
Those were some *really* good child actors. I don't know about their ages though. John is the older brother right? The boy from The Others seems a bit too young, as does Wendy. But that was in a movie filmed a while ago, they could be the right age. Another good child actress is the chick who played the daughter from Panic Room. Despite what I said about american child actors before, when the child is a good enough actor it doesn't matter, as long as she can do an accent.********** I hope the Elijah Wood rumour on the Down Under story is untrue. He's too old. Peter Pan should be 15 or under. Plus, it's ever so slightly similar a role and film to LOTR. I don't want to see Frodo as Peter Pan, I want to see Peter Pan.
July 12, 2002, 1:37 p.m. CST
A "love letter." Hee hee.
July 12, 2002, 1:39 p.m. CST
Totally agree with you on the Wendy casting, Vegas
July 12, 2002, 1:39 p.m. CST
July 12, 2002, 2:02 p.m. CST
by Carson Dyle
In all fairness to Jim Hart and Nick Castle, they came up with a great concept. As anyone who's ever read the first draft of "Hook" will attest, their screenplay was funny, exciting, imaginative, and utterly charming -- not that you'd know it from the bloated, elephantine mess that is the film. "Hook" is one of my favorite examples of how a wonderful script can be systematically destroyed by ego, over-development, and wretched excess.
July 12, 2002, 2:06 p.m. CST
I'd kill to read this thing. Great review, Mori.
July 12, 2002, 2:12 p.m. CST
But does Peter Pan make anyone else melancholy? As magical as the story is, it kind of brings me down a little afterwards. I disapprove entirely of growing up.
July 12, 2002, 2:12 p.m. CST
...and the dialouge has that charming British wit about it. I have read Peter Pan and I completely agree with Moriartyt that its an adult book about children - much the way Alice in Wonderland was. I'm not to stoked to see a movie about it though, because frankly - its another Hollywood retread. Original ideas are for schmucks, I guess.
July 12, 2002, 2:20 p.m. CST
by Carson Dyle
There are no sure things in the film biz, but this project is clearly a labor of love for P.J. Hogan and Co. More than any other project in the fantasy film pipeline right now, "Peter Pan" has a shot at being a truly great motion picture.
July 12, 2002, 2:23 p.m. CST
by Virgil Sollozzo
the project Johnny Depp is working on is a fact based story , centered around James Barrie and his life while writing Peter Pan. Oddly enough, Dustin Hoffman of "Hook'" costars. And whats with that first illustration up there?
July 12, 2002, 2:50 p.m. CST
Robin Williams' Shaved Chest
July 12, 2002, 3:13 p.m. CST
It was an intriguing addition to the Peter Pan mythology. I think it hurt with Spielburg's usual bombastic treatment (ALL the Lost Boys, ALL the Lost Boys skateboarding and doing this and doing that, ALL that Robin Williams--although if the film had been toned down, Williams would've appropriately reined in his performance--there was evidence of that), but there was some real thought given to what would happen to a Peter Pan who allowed himself to grow up. Hoffman, at 5'6", made a monstrous Hook. I liked his comment about how he looks huge to a ten-year-old. And for as much as I don't care for Julia Roberts, who really didn't disappear into the Tinkerbell character (she's not one to disappear into any character--she's always Julia), the character she was supposed to portray fit very well into Barrie's description of this fairy. Her name itself, "Tinkerbell," describes her as a rather common fairy, the one who mended the pots and household goods of other Neverland fairies. She was as much a smudgy character as any of the Lost Boys.
July 12, 2002, 3:23 p.m. CST
What do you all think this startling moment of peter Pan's Last duel with Peter is? I have to find out!
July 12, 2002, 3:40 p.m. CST
I grew up on the disney version of Pan too, but I just read the book 2 wks ago. It was good, and hopefully they'll get a kid who can 'gnash' his teeth the right way. I mean, I really wanna know what that'd look like. P.S.- The Others was spooooky. I love the little girl, she'd have the Wendy down.
July 12, 2002, 3:49 p.m. CST
now that you mention it, I am pissed off at that, thanks a lot! It reminds me of something you'd see in a smarmy, pseudo-clever Entertainment Weekly article or something. Now, I think I literally hate everything. Just kidding, all.
July 12, 2002, 4:21 p.m. CST
but I think the "startling moment" is a full on kiss between Hook and Pan.
July 12, 2002, 4:31 p.m. CST
While I have the upmost respect for this Illustrator and his brother, I urge you Moriarty do not ever suggest that Greg Hildebrandts work be used as post production design!!!! Imagine if LOTR had been planned in this way...we would have fruggin boars for orcs and some kind of pseudo Arthurian armour for the riders of Rohan. Aragorn would have had a stupid handlebar mustache and legolas would have been wearing some sort of nighty. Greg Hildebrandt is fantasy novel cover material not a sceen interpretor. I happen to own the Hildebrandt Illustrated Peter Pan (I bought it at a Sams Club). The colors are too primary, there is no imagination in his interpretations because he uses models in his work. Peter pan look like some tan version of Scott Bayo, and tinkerbell?? can somebody say 80's porno star?? Please whatever you do never ever suggest that this illustrator be sought out for his material on Peter Pan. First off, I have many illustrated versions of peter pan. I collected them when I was in Junior high because I was interested in the symbolism in the story. By far, the best illustrator of the Golden age was Arthur Rackham and you can check out is Peter Pan In Kensington Gardens which tells the story of Peter before heading off to Never Land and is wonderfully illustrated. Rackham was able to produce a genuine feel for the story of Peter, and I am sure that if he had lived longer and done an illustrated version of Peter Pan, no one would have rivaled his style. Another Illustrator that did a great version of Peter Pan was Michael Hague. He is such an imaginative Illustrator, and he is still alive (though I havent liked his latest work). His Peter pan is a ratty haired kid who has never grown up but still shows the grittyness of living in a wilderness and rolling around in the dirt. his peter does not wear tights not a little had, but he does have a suit made of skeleton leaves that seems to look like it grew on his body. Of course who could doubt the imagery of Alan Lee. He is one of the gods of Fantasy illustration. He has yet to do a version of Peter pan but his style closely resmb;les the grittyness and rich dirty and worn colors that Rackham used. he is a master of creating creatures and well you saw the results of his influence on the LOTR set. I am a good illuistrator as wekk, and I believe that a tory should not just be interpreted at face value. Characters should be developed on paper as they are in writing. Hildebrandts peter Pan is a two dimentional persona. There is no realism to his work. Think of it this way. if you have read the Wheel of Time novels. Are the trollocs composed of merely a mans body with goat legs and a goat head?? NO it took time to evolve those creatures and so each creature is individual and there are humanoid aspects to each individual beast but they all came from centuries of development not some frankenstine cut and paste method. That is what Allan Lee did with his orcs and even with his depiction of the hobbits. You can sense that passage of time. That is why if there would be any artist who would bring respect and justice to a depiction of live action Peter Pan it would be Alan Lee. By the way, Peter should be more along the lines of 13 and under. Before he reaches puberty, and he should look like he has been living in a forest with a bunch of mischevious friends. he should have some battle scars but at the same time he should have an innocent air about him, an almost fairy like characteristic to the eyes and also the ears. he should have red matted and wild hair not brown and red ruddy skin that has been somewhhat tanned by the sun but not by a tanning bed. His sword should be rusty and worn maybe a stolen artifact from captain Hooks ship. He should resemble the illustration you see in the Movie Hook when grandma Wendy turns to the front page and asks peter "dont you know who you are?" that is a good illustration. Anyway enough of my ranting. I have dreamed of making this film myself and I am happy that it will be made but please to those of us who have some power in the movie business, make smart decisions. Otherwize we are going to be left with the same tights wearing bright green clean cut peice of crap that we have all lived with since Disneys depiction. Pie-eye OUT
July 12, 2002, 4:40 p.m. CST
Damn, I hate it when I write fast and dont have time to check my type-o's. Sorry Fellow talkbackers, I will promise to edit my talkbacks in the future!!
July 12, 2002, 5:21 p.m. CST
I heard Tim Curry. Go figure.
July 12, 2002, 5:38 p.m. CST
Despite the glaring fact that he has been in two Paul Anderson moives, I'm a huge fan of Isaacs. As I read the review, I was just trying to think of who could play Hook to a T. When Mori said Isaacs, I was amazed. I really cannot imagine a better actor for the part. He was the onlt thing I actually enjoyed in The Patriot. How prefect. Also, I must know what this big suprising moment during the final confrontation is. I have to know. And I'm going to uber pissed if they cast a Jake Lloyd-ish actor as Peter. I really don't know how they can cast him.
July 12, 2002, 5:43 p.m. CST
Flabbergasted as I was that Dustin Hoffman won the part of Hook back in that crap movie before, I couldn't figure out why they cast Hoffman when John Cleese was picture-perfect for the role. Maybe it was because someday they'd do a better film and Cleese wouldn't be wasted on that crap Spielberg put out. John Cleese for Capt.Hook.
July 12, 2002, 6:11 p.m. CST
by Carson Dyle
I too think John Cleese would have been perfect for Spielberg's movie, largely because "Hook" was a comedy (or at least it wanted to be). Alas, P.J. Hogan's "Peter Pan" is NOT a comedy, and the role of Hook has rightly been assigned to someone who -- hopefully -- will play it straight. Jason Issacs should make a chilling, believable and ultimately tragic James Hook. The hard part will be casting Peter...
You underrate John Clees. He proved in Kenneth Branaugh's Frankenstein that he is quite capable of playing serious parts. Not that I'm saying I'd rather see him as Hook. Isaacs is perfect.
July 12, 2002, 6:40 p.m. CST
They should have these actors for the parts: Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook Daniel Radcliffe as John Bob Hoskins as Smee and whoever else you can think of
July 12, 2002, 7:06 p.m. CST
I rarely feel compelled to express my opinion in the Talkbacks, but Mori your past few script reviews have been so damn good I'm brimming with enthusiasm. Not necessarily enthusiam for these could-be films (although this one seems like it has the possibility of beeing inordinately good), but enthusiam for the film-world itself. Mori, you bring out the best of this site and everything Harry has worked for. Please, please, please keep posting script reviews. Oh, and as for the Talkbackers who constantly complain about the duration of your writing. . .screw them. Another 4000 words would be too little.
July 12, 2002, 7:50 p.m. CST
by Carson Dyle
...as brilliant as he is, John Cleese simply carries too much comedic baggage with him to be genuinely frightening on screen -- and this Hook MUST be genuinely frightening. To put it another way, Jason Issacs gives the impression -- on screen, anyway --of being the kind of person who might at any moment cut out your spleen and feed it to you. John Cleese does not.
July 12, 2002, 8:09 p.m. CST
This could be very good. It all depends on the casting. Please use a British cast, even (if not particularly) for Peter Pan himself!
July 12, 2002, 8:50 p.m. CST
by Carson Dyle
As a matter of fact, a thirteen year-old American unknown has already been cast in the title role (I've forgotten his name). Presumably the Darling children will be played by English children -- though I imagine they will be unknowns as well.
July 12, 2002, 9:21 p.m. CST
The last few lines of J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan" perfectly sum up the poignancy of human mortality. Wendy shrivels and grows old while Peter, forever young, comes to her daughter and her daughter after that. But whose lot, after all, is the most poignant? Wendy and her line of daughters who are condemned (as are we all)to grow old, to grow sick and to eventually die? Surely, we humans must pass on, but on the journey to death we grow into things like compassion and love. We develop a roundedness and a three-dimensionality that makes mere youth look all that much more callow. To mortal eyes it may seem that Peter, thumbing his nose at physical decay, has the better deal, but does he? Though he never grows old he never grows up, either. He is forever condemned to remain the embodiment of the selfishness and thoughtless cruelty that are youth itself. In never changing, Peter relinquishes the bittersweet gift of perspective and so remains shallow, one-dimensional and blindly self-centered. His Never-Never Land may be a Utopia but, like all Utopias, it remains static and unchanging and, in the end (like all things that go on forever), ultimately pointless. Barrie's "Peter Pan" is a quietly brilliant book shot through with thoughtful melancholy - it's only natural that it's last paragraph leaves the reader both exhilarated and autumnally sad. And, yes, it makes me sad every time I read it!
July 12, 2002, 9:32 p.m. CST
OK, I'm a little confused here. We're talking about a one-on-one sword battle between a teenage boy and an adult pirate. What "shock moment" could there possibly be? Does Hook leave Peter scarred or maimed in some way (like cutting off a finger or something)? Does Peter just go full-force on Hook and kill him in the heat of combat, thereby sacrificing his child-like innocence? Or does Hook realize that Peter, in spite of his youth, loves Wendy as an adult man loves a woman and forces Peter to face the fact that he's willingly growing up by being in love with her (and in effect turning PETER PAN into a full-blown love story)? Granted, all of these guesses could be way off-base (and probably are), but I'm at a loss as to how there could be a "shock moment" during the final fight. Every other version I know of (except Mary Martin's version, which played it as a half-@$$ed kiddie-show thing) has played it as a straightforward showdown. Then again, no matter how good the film is, the definitive PETER PAN will always be the Disney version in my eyes. That film was actually darker than some of the other versions (I think the bomb sequence was a huge improvement on the "Tink drinks poison and is revived by clapping" scenario), and it was probably the closest Disney ever came to doing an animated action film. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't think PETER PAN will ever get any better than the Disney version. That said, I am looking forward to Hogan's film, and I wish him luck. But I still can't figure out this "shock moment" thing....
July 12, 2002, 10:36 p.m. CST
by Carson Dyle
Peter is doomed to be a boy forever -- yes, doomed -- and this is what makes the end of the book (and screenplay) so melencholy. Peter can feel love, but he can't allow himself to be loved -- or even touched! He is, in essence, a ghost. As for Mori's "Big Surprise," I've read the same screenplay he did, and even I'm not quite sure what he's talking about. Wendy does give Peter a kiss on the cheek at one point -- and while it's an incredibly powerful moment, it's hardly scandalous. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the (forbidden) love story between Peter and Wendy is very much the emotional core of Hogan's take on the story, and he exploits this theme for all it's worth. For his part, Hook knows Wendy will one day marry, have children of her own, and forget Peter, and he uses this insight during the final battle to rattle Peter and (temporarily) gain the upper hand. Alas, the real triumph of this screenplay is it's pitch-perfect conclusion. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If Hogan the director delivers on the promise of Hogan the screenwriter, the last scene of this movie will have the audience -- the ENTIRE FUCKING AUDIENCE -- in tears.
July 12, 2002, 11:10 p.m. CST
"Nevertheless, it is important to note that the (forbidden) love story between Peter and Wendy is very much the emotional core of Hogan's take on the story, and he exploits this theme for all it's worth. For his part, Hook knows Wendy will one day marry, have children of her own, and forget Peter, and he uses this insight during the final battle to rattle Peter and (temporarily) gain the upper hand." Hmmm...guess I wasn't too far off on my last guess (although I was thinking of it in a different way). Still, this isn't much of a shock moment (and it makes me feel that much better that even you don't have any idea what Moriarty's driving at). If anything, it just builds on what we (and Peter) ultimately know, and I don't see where this would be such a problem to put on film. Unless Moriarty's got a draft which throws a major curve ball into this scene, this scene seems fairly harmless.
July 12, 2002, 11:19 p.m. CST
by hank quinlan
I knew when I heard about this Hogan would do a great job. He has a tender, playful, and intelligent sensibility. I remember hearing what he told Ron Bass when Bass didn't want to put in the musical number in the seafood place in My Best Friend's wedding:"I think it's hilarious. And the longer it goes on, the funnier it is." Or words to that effect. Most directors would run from that sequence or fumble it in a bad teen movie way. Hogan got it pitch perfect. I'm so excited. And that marvelous dialouge! We may have a modern classic about to made. A good retelling like "Robin and Marian" is so rare. Thanks to the Doctor for confirming my suspicions! By the way...I finally saw it and Minority Report was vastly flawed. The absolute product of 2 eight hundred pound gorillas with too much time and money. Maybe the old master Spielberg could take some lessons from a class act like Hogan.
July 13, 2002, 12:10 a.m. CST
You know a project has promise when there's not a talkbacker to be found prophetically declaring it's failure in artistic merit down the line. Thanks for the scoop, Moriarty. By the way, that dialogue was great. If this screenplay is as you say it is, I hope it makes the transition from paper to celluloid uncorrupted.
July 13, 2002, 12:20 a.m. CST
I didn't know his name but saw him in The Patriot and Black Hawk Down. He was the only worthy thing in that shitsoup of a film The Patriot. When I looked him up on the IMDb and saw his picture, I could not FUCKING believe it. He is absolutely PERFECT for Hook.He has the steely blue stare, the commanding presence, the talent, and the voice. I cannot think of better casting in such a long time.
July 13, 2002, 12:32 a.m. CST
I've actually just finished reading the book for the first time, via the link Moriarty supplied. Loved it, loved it, loved it! I can't wait for the movie, especially if the script is as great as he says! Another thing, I'd second that the illustration early in Hook is a great vision of Peter Pan.
July 13, 2002, 12:59 a.m. CST
Forget that Clive Owen guy. He doesn't have those piercing eyes like Issacs, or his lithe athleticism - like a tiger ready to pounce. Owen looks like a thug. Issacs for BOND! But he's definitely capable of being a wonderful Captain Hook. I can already picture it. He's a wonderful actor who just needs a really great part to make the moviegoers realize it.
July 13, 2002, 1:20 a.m. CST
I considered Hook to be the straw that broke the camel's back for Spielberg. It's the movie that put him on the road to doing projects that have big ideas, but fail to deliver on them. And the beginnings of him hiring "Box Office" draws to play characters that are at the heart of the film. The casting of Dustin Hoffman as Hook was brilliant (he's a REAL actor, btw). But Robin Williams and Julia Roberts in that film just ruined it. It was Robin Williams and Julia Roberts trying to not be Robin Williams and Julia Roberts. How do you separate them from their film personalities when that's all they portray? Just like with Minority Report. I think the film would've been better without Tom Cruise as the main protagonist. In my mind, actors that embrace celebrity are not real actors. A lot of celebrities pretend to not like the attention, but they put up with it because if they went away, no one is going to be talking about what a wonderful actor they are. They're only going to be involved in a project because of their status as a celebrity. They're not real actors, they've just sold people on an image.
July 13, 2002, 2:08 a.m. CST
Man, I know PJ wouldn't have the gall to swipe such an obvious plot twist as that, but it's gotta be something huge....and troubling.
July 13, 2002, 4:52 a.m. CST
"Peter, I am your mother", says Hook slowly.... No good? Ah well.
July 13, 2002, 8:12 a.m. CST
HOOK wasn't that bad, folks. And it had some good flying effects c/o ILM.
July 13, 2002, 10:02 a.m. CST
Bob Hoskins was brillant as Smee in Hook, why not let him do it again? Maggie Smith was good as old Wendy also. Hook wasn't bad, but I agree it wasted the potential it had. As for the musical, I think that would've been a great idea. Heck Phil Collins was an inspector in Hook. I liked "When you're alone" I thought it fit perfectly. Hook wasn't bad, there were just some bad scenes. Jason Issacs rules and he will rule as Lucius Malfoy, Campion Bond, and Captain Hook. Sorry I'm all scatterbrained.
July 13, 2002, 11:01 a.m. CST
The best Captain Hook I've seen on film was Alan Rickman playing an actor playing Hook on stage in "An Awfully Big Adventure."
July 13, 2002, 11:11 a.m. CST
The trouble with "Hook" is probably due to the fact that Spielberg isn't very bright, and he has become noticably less bright as he's grown older. Let me quote from "Shoot Out" by Peter Bart & Peter Guber: "While the director's fertile imagination was always vividly on display during the actual filming of his movies, incessantly conjuring up new angles and random bits to 'cook' a scene, his strength did not lie in solving script problems. Writers who worked for him commented on the frequent oversimplicity, even naivete, of his suggestions: Stories from Spielberg always seemed to come down to the good guy against the bad guy or the good team against the bad team. 'Steven's not strong on nuiance,' observed one writer who labored with the director on a script." The thing that bothered me most about "Hook" was that it trampled and spat upon the theme of Barrie's work - that childhood is a special time reserved for children, who are terrible and selfish and also wonderful. Adults must put childhood behind them so that they can take care of their children. The message of "Hook" is that it is admirable for adults to grab all the adventure for themselves, and to hell with letting the children have it. And the "adventure" in "Hook" is not the kind that comes from a child's imagination; it's the kind that is sold by greedy adults to kid's whose imagination has been sucked out of them by too much entertainment-industry-manufactured drivel.
July 13, 2002, 12:37 p.m. CST
by Eugene O
...speaks the truth! Well said...errr, written.
July 13, 2002, 12:56 p.m. CST
Please remove those Hildebrandt dawbings, they are making me ill. Peil was 200% bang on the mark with his post. PJ and co, should really look ar Rackhams work. THE forefather of fantasy book illustration. Genius.
July 13, 2002, 1:07 p.m. CST
got to diagree with people point on hook. It stuck pretty true on the most part. Peter didn't become selfish, he sacridcie his childhood to save his kid It was a balance bewtween childhood playfullness and understand your responsiblity Hell the scene with wendy and peter was downright creepy neverland in the movies wasn't like the one in the book because it was now corrupted it was a differnt story, so it hard to compare it to a orginal but the new movies looks really good. Also dont think the book wasnt meant for children. it was meant for adults and children Children books were much much much Darker, didn't have to worry about parent sueing you back then. Children stories much more worried down. When the last time you seen a cartoon show the same Violence that some of the cartoons we watch as a kid had. The old children books were allway meant to entertain both adult and kid. or scare the living hell out of kids
July 13, 2002, 1:30 p.m. CST
He has the voice, the class, the age(remember Hook is supposed to be an old man in a black wig), the swashbuckling capabilities(watch 'My Favourite Year' - Alan Swann is not a million miles away) and a history of legendary movies. Let's give the man who gave flesh to T.E.Lawrence one last hurrah. Those of you who agree please get behind me on this one because I'd love to think that Moriarty and Harry would agree with me on this choice and they might be able to influence P.J.Hogan (directly, or indirectly). If it is done right, this could be one of the greatest films EVER. I'm getting the same buzz as when I first read a section of LotR after the green light. Thanks Moriarty, this important and, hopefully, historic film news has made my day.
July 13, 2002, 3:02 p.m. CST
I really liked him in that cartoon they did based on the original Peter Pan story they had on Fox years ago.
July 13, 2002, 3:51 p.m. CST
Pictures are cool. First Picture - Hook: "Peter kiss me!" Second Picture - Hey Tinkerbell how much? Third Picture - Hook: "Hey Wendy I have some candy on my ship." Hmmm.... Yeah our society isn't about sex at all....
i liked hook. i really liked it. i love star wars. and i love indy. i saw hook BEFORE all those other films. i think it`s the age that makes the difference in the point of view.... %%%%%oh damn i want to make paragraphs%%%%% have someone of you ever seen the japanese comic-tv-series??? i think it
July 13, 2002, 6:58 p.m. CST
I really wish that a family film as deep, intelliegent and as moving as this will get made. The ideas behind the snippet of dialogue about the dreams in the drawer bordered on poetry. And thanks to the other talkbacker about the BBC's Narnia adaptation from the 80s. The music to that is so evocative, and is composed by the same bloke who wrote the music to Brideshead revisited (Olivier, Jeremy Irons etc... more considering time having gone on). If no studio is allowed to get its "committees" of writers to tinker with a script as poetical as this, then the film should be able to stand there alongside with ET and Babe as the best family film of its decade (ie, one whose combination of music and melancholy manage to make me cry).
July 13, 2002, 11:48 p.m. CST
I serioulsy need to talk back to the guy who claims that an american actor has been cast in the role of Peter Pan. First off, you said that he need not be a Brit because his origins are never revealed and that my friend is such a croc. Seriously, if you have read Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, you would know that Peter falls out of pram in shortly after he was born in LONDON and that Kensignton Gardens is in LONDON (they have the Peter Pan Statue at Kensington Gardens which they show when Robin Williams lands back on earth in Hook). J.M. Barrie was an Englishman, and he would have largely been writing about british children, so dont go on claiming that Peters origin is never revealed because it is. Anyway, thanks to the guy who sent me an e-mail assuring me that some of the post production work looks really good. I hope this film is adapted respectfully. Another thing, Fox's Peter Pan and the pirates is just another dissappointment in the long line of rediculous Peter Pan themed shows. What is with the pony tail and the cape on that kid?? Come on. If Fox would have read the book they would have known that Peter is covered in Skeleton leaves, not some hunky doory rags. Disney's Peter Pan is most likeley the most memorable (because it is Disney, and for its music) but lets face it, its Disney. Disneys version is too clean, too safe and there are no risks involved in the story. I mean he wears tights for gods sakes, Where in Never Land would Peter find a pair of tights??? I hope PJ's Peter is real and that he realizes the many dimentions of Peters reality. He is pleagued by the constant threat of Captain Hook, and by death at his hands. This version should have blood in it, it should have grit, and underneath it all it should expose the fear that we all have of aging and forgetting about our innocence. Yes, the real story of Peter Pan is a sad story. Peter eventually forgets about Never Land and forgets his past but so do we. Any way, Please call me Pie-Eye from now on.
July 14, 2002, 1:39 a.m. CST
I have heard from a friend that P.J. has met several times with JAke Thomas. He stars in LIZZIE McGUIRE and he was in ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE and THE CELL. He would make a great PP.
July 14, 2002, 8:24 a.m. CST
This will be more entertaining than TPM and AOTC. Still, I LOVED Hook, masterpiece compared to Star Wars.
July 14, 2002, 10:23 a.m. CST
by TheGinger Twit
Why do you guys hate hook? Answer me honestly. Hook is one of Spielbergs greatest visions!
July 14, 2002, 11:17 a.m. CST
hook and pan look like gay lovers who have been stranded on never-neverland without food or water. You can see in their eyes it's just like the cartoons, they are hullucinating that the other one is actually some sort of food item, like a roast chicken or honey-baked ham. tinkerbell looks like someones aunt... she has worse hair than the chick in the x-men movie. Not to be ageist, but this art looks like he used real models and I never thought of Tinkerbell as pushing 40+.
July 14, 2002, 1:06 p.m. CST
Until Disney, all Peter Pans (at least that I know of) were played by women, including the first 1924 version with Betty Bronson see http://users.chariot.net.au/~dkoks/BettyBronson/bettyAsPeterPan.html
July 14, 2002, 4:16 p.m. CST
WRONG!!! I'm sorry but that is such a profoundly bad idea that I had a very visceral reaction to it. Now, I have nothing against Cleese I find him to be rather amusing in small doses and in the right role (his role as the new Q in "The World Is Not Enough" for example) but unless they are going for the bumbling Disney version of Hook he would suck. He would camp it up horribly if the character is being played straight. Which from the impression I'm getting from Moriarty's article it is. That's why Jason Isaccs is a great choice, let's have somebody who can embody menace and give the role some dramatic weight. Now if Cleese had been suggested for Smee I could buy that but as Hook? Shudder.
July 14, 2002, 6:57 p.m. CST
I know some of you high and mighty movie review types like to pick apart movies, but HOOK was very cool, and I thought everyone was well cast. That includes Hoffman and Williams. My 3 Cents.
July 14, 2002, 7:36 p.m. CST
I've noticed that some of the folks on this talkback have complained about the traditional "tights and hat" combo that has since become Peter Pan's trademark costume, and have pinned the blame for that costume on Disney. But after seeing the screen-shots of Betty Bronson as Peter, I just have to ask...what's the big deal? Yeah, her outfit has the leafy look described in the Barrie book, but she still has the tights and hat...and I didn't see any passages on that site (which someone else posted on this TB) where Barrie complained about the design. Furthermore, to those who said that Peter Pan should look like the illustration seen in HOOK, I think it bears remembering that the Peter Pan in that film, in both his child and adult forms, did indeed wear that outfit in the film...and that outfit included green tights. Yeah, his tunic had the leafy look and Spielberg ditched the hat (then again, so did the Mary Martin and Cathy Rigby versions), but he was still in tights (and Hook made jokes about it, if you remember). Y'all can complain about the "tights and hat" look and how Disney cemented it as Peter's signature costume, but let's not kid ourselves, the look was already in existence before Disney used it. And let's not kid ourselves about the new movie's costume: more than likely it'll include green tights as well. Sure, it'll probably go for the leafy look for Peter's tunic (HOOK did it, and so did all the incarnations of the musical), but there's no way Hogan's going to depart from what has been standardized as Peter's outfit. Sure, it'll have variations unique to his film's look, but I highly doubt he's going to depart from the popular look of the character to any great extent.
July 14, 2002, 8:16 p.m. CST
by Darth Pixel
July 14, 2002, 9:16 p.m. CST
...the way that bondage bridge scene in Cameron's Spider-Man scriptment was wrong. It's a story about innocence, and how some kids lose their innocence and grow up, and how others (Peter especially) never grow up at all.
July 14, 2002, 10:24 p.m. CST
She started up with a cry, and saw the boy, and somehow she knew at once that he was Peter Pan. If you or I or Wendy had been there we should have seen that he was very like Mrs. Darling's kiss. He was a lovely boy, clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that ooze out of trees but the most entrancing thing about him was that he had all his first teeth. When he saw she was a grown-up, he gnashed the little pearls at her. Well here I go again. As a junior high student, I was intrigued by the story of Peter Pan and was urged by my english teacher to look deeper into the text and discover the many truths of the story. I believe that becasue of this I developed a certain image of Peter that has stuck with me all through the years. I am not afraid to admit that I am very picky when it comes to my image of this character, but as this country is a free, I must live with the fact that not everybody sees things the way I see them. I am also an aspiring illustrator, and during the time that I explored J.M.Barrie's novel, I began to develop my illustration style. Alot of it was influenced by greats such as Arthur Rackham, Michael Hague and Alan Lee. What do these three have in common?? Well they each present a different way to explore fantasy. Arthur Rackham was a master at Pen and ink and therefore his drawings usually had a very dark aesthetic. He revealed a grittyness in his visual storytelling that rivaled no other illustrator of the time. To me Arthur Rackham is an illustrator god, and the only other present day illustrators that I can compare him to are Hague and Lee. If you look at Arthur Rackhams (Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens) illustrations, you can clearly see where I am coming from with the tightless red haired Peter Pan. In Rackhams drawings, Peter is depicted as a baby having just escaped from the care of his parents. He is naked cherubic being, and you can see that his baby hair is red or at least a light brown. From this image, I began to evolve the character of Peter from the time that he lands on Neverland to the time that he meets Wendy. Of course seeing it from an illustrators point of view, I needed to try and fill the gap between Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy. A good illustrator like Alan Lee understands this aritficial aging process, and is able to bring illustrative evolution to life. That is why I would love to see him illustrate Peter Pan sometime. Anyway, Peter lands on Neverland and of course he has no clothing for the first few years, but the faeries know how to sew clothes from skeleton leaves and so they sew him a tunic of leaves. At this point I try to also imagine Peter as a boy who is very playful, innocent and cocky as well. He is subject to all the elements of a tropical environment. Some of the images I also conjured up where of the stranded boys in Lord of the Flies. There is no doubt in my mind that Peter would most likely get dirt all over him on his adventures, he would probably brush up against tree sap if his bed is made of leaves. He also lives underground and under tree roots. Basically, Peter is the spirit of the forest. He needs to be covered in the elements that make the forest, he needs to have an almost faerie like appearance. Of course I also adopted red as the color of his hair even though J.M. Barrie doesnt ever describe his hair or eye color. But one thing is for sure, since he is Motherless, Peter would mostlikeley not be the most hygenic boy, and therefore he may have ratty unkept hair that would only add to his natural appearance. I also remember seeing the work of one particular artist, I dont remember her name, but her version of peter was similar to what I had, though her peter had light brown hair which also worked well. So in my version and in the versions that I have witnessed from various illustrators, there is no room in Peters clothing for a pair of tights, no room for tidyness. I understand that in the stage version (in which he is mostly portrayed by women)he sometimes wears a hat and a pair of tights, but this is a stage version, and when a story translates to film, it should be reworked and formatted to feel real even though it is fantasy. Audeience should be convinced of the autheticity in fantasy films. LOTR is a good example of autheticity. The story of Peter is a story about true human emotions set in a fantastical world. Just because people are used to seeing Peter in tights doesnt mean that PJ Hogan will want him that way. Infact, I had a contact a few days ago who told me that the prelim designs do not resemble disney's and more closely resemble Michael Hagues version: a tightless, rustic version of peter with a gigantic head of matted hair. In Illustration, I have seen many versions of Peter some of them that reflect conservative views of a particular time, but as a purist to Barries initial description (and its subsequent ramifications), I stick to my view of him. Spielbergs version gets closer to the "rustic" version. I enjoyed some of the flashback scenes of Peter as a child. Nonetheless, Spielbergs version did not go the extra mile, it was too comfortable. By that I mean that he focused too much on the fantstical and campy sides of the story, and that was most obvious for me in the costuming and some of the sets (although I loved Hooks Costume to death). It is true that Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates did not have a big budget, and for this reason decisions had to be made about Peters appearance. I enjoyed some of the storylines, but I was also annoyed by its blatant Americanization of the characters. When it was cancelled, I kept thinking to myself, if fox had to sacrifice so much because of budjet then why make a series based on Barries beloved novel? Sure it was fun, but in the end it was quite forgettable. This is merely my own opinion. I a man who is constantly pleagued by my own illustrative visions, so forgive me if I did not enjoy Fox'x Peter Pan and the Pirates. Now we are coming to the final culmination. PJ Hogan has chosen to do a live action version of this wonderful tale, and my optimism is high. I feel that PJ Hogan will challenge us to rethink our image of Peter Pan. I think that just like Peter Jackson avoided the mistakes of Bakshi, so too will PJ Hogan avoid the mistakes of Spielberg. He has the potential to bring all of Peters horrific and beautiful sides to life. As I read the exerpts from the script I could see the face of Peter, a lost boy without a mother. His disheveled hair, with leaves stuck to it, his body covered with sap and a little dirt here an there. I could see a distraught Peter crying a the sight of an aged Wendy. Very sad, but very true. So that is my manifesto. To the person who challenged me, I thank you! People like me need to be challenged. If you would like to discuss this futher, I would be happy to continue. Maybe I can even show you some of my concepts for Peter and his world. Those images would probably be my strongest arguments. Pie-eye
July 14, 2002, 10:55 p.m. CST
Someone really nice could post this script as a downloaded word, txt, final draft final. (HINT, HINT). I'm sure I'm not the only one who would enjoy reading the script. It's nice seeing a film evolve.
July 15, 2002, 1:32 a.m. CST
I'm surprised to find that no one has bad mouthed this report, (save for that remark about another certain PJ- I think Jackson did a awesome job- thank-you!) Though Moriety did struck a cord with his report, all I can say is- BRING IT FUCKING ON!!!
July 15, 2002, 1:59 a.m. CST
i wish you would, mori. that's twice in almost as many days that you've done this to us. at least in this one you give us some examples of what you're talking about. but give us a review of the whole thing next time. please. how the script/story resolves itself is important. and if it's as good as you say it is, then let's talk about it. i don't think there is such a thing as a "spoiler" in a script review, particularly for a film that hasn't even gone before the camera. and if we know what happens in the script then, when we see the finished product, we'll have something to compare it to. and we can discuss if they made the right choices or not. or am i being selfish?
July 15, 2002, 9:05 a.m. CST
I worked with Jason Isaacs a couple of months back (he did Voice Over on a short Documentary I produced) and he is a true gent. Extremely enthusiastic, funny and not precious in any way you might anticipate someone of his talents to be. I think the idea of him being the next Bond is a top one, because despite him being an all round good bloke, he always harbours this type of brooding menace in his roles that is extremely subtle. Isaacs For Bond yea!
July 15, 2002, 4:13 p.m. CST
by Wee Willie
No matter how you slice it, Peter Pan is extremely gay. Can you see the kids of today saying "Hey Chaps, let's go down to the multiplex and see Peter Pan!". NO! Kids wanna see Blade, not some tutti-fruiti flying around. Now I know that Peter Pan is cooler than the image of Sandy Duncan being whipped around stage on a rope singing "I'm flying!" But kids these days? They think PP is a Total-Gay-O-Matic.
July 15, 2002, 4:17 p.m. CST
IMDB lists Issacs as playing Captain Hook.
July 15, 2002, 7:21 p.m. CST
I don't think Miyazaki would bother with something so European, but I will always dream of the film he could make out of the Golden Compass and the Subtle Knife. It's not as rich with visuals as Miyazaki's latest Spirited Away, but it has the potential to be an excellent spring board for his imagination. Pullman's world had elements that felt like they belonged in a Miyazaki film, from the daemons to the armored bears, to those little people who rode dragon flies(no, they're cool, really). I bet he could even fix the horrific problems in the third book of the trilogy The Amber Spyglass(in particular the series' two great irredeemable villains are suddenly and rediculously rehabilitated in a way that was so totally out-of-character for both of them that I threw the book across the room). I know it's all wishful thinking, but that's what dreams are for, I guess. ******** Before I was interested, but now I *want* this Peter Pan movie to be excellent. If you're reading this, Mori, what do you think of the rumor that Elijah Wood will be Peter Pan? I've like Wood ever since he was a child appearing in supporting roles, and I even remember thinking he'd be a great Peter Pan(and Frodo, how about that), but I worry the time for him to play the one boy who didn't grow up may have already passed. He does still have the right look, he even resembles that image of Peter up there(though what's up with those friendly smiles between Hook and Pan). The only concern about Wood is his age. I guess it's wiser to wait until we know more about it before reacting to it, but do you think/hope it could work?
July 16, 2002, 12:07 p.m. CST
by You Are Banned
Check it out.
July 16, 2002, 12:30 p.m. CST
by You Are Banned
July 16, 2002, 2:50 p.m. CST
by Invisible Loki
...so rare in Hollywood today, and on the web. Good form, Moriarty! Hope the film if it ever gets made stays true to the integrity of the script.
July 16, 2002, 3:18 p.m. CST
Who do you think is better choice, Disney or Universal? Disney seems to be getting better (Lilo & Stitch, Treasure Planet), and Universal worse. I would love to have this on DVD with all the great special features possible (Delete scenes, Bloopers, screen tests, director's notes, director's walk-through, Unused concepts, whayever else may exsist). This is a great way to start off Pan's 100th Birthday!! This and Neverland is sure to be a great present. I'm hoping these films will be recognized come Oscar time, which from what I read in the review, will. Any more news on the Cast (Peter Pan and Wendy?) http://www.peterpanfan.com/peterpan.htm links you to a casting Site. I have heard this may be a limited release, anyone else hear of this?
July 16, 2002, 3:44 p.m. CST
Contrary to popular belief, Peter Jackson had done plenty prior to Lord of the Rings that hinted at his potential as a film maker. The man has a deep love for fantasy and for film. It was only a matter of time before someone recognized his artistic endeavors. New Line knew full well what he was capable of. The only question was if anyone could handle a project of this magnitude, not if Peter Jackson could handle a film of this magnitude.
That was quite possibly some of the best dialogue I've ever read. Could we really see a renaissance in children's films? Probably not but if this lives up to the potential shown here and the HP films continue to be as good as the first one was (well, I liked it and thought the overall level of acting was great, certainly better then Episode 2 in that respect) then we might finally be getting somewhere...
Aug. 11, 2002, 8:56 p.m. CST
this is what i am talking about its about time. Its about time somebody thinks of making a GOOD AND I MEAN GOOD peter pan. that is so kool. It must not be lame though really good graphics since its making a come back and your trying to hit a new generation with it. Plus a good story line OOOOHHHHH I can see it now. It must be real in character especially with the cast. I CAN'T WAIT any comments firstname.lastname@example.org
Aug. 11, 2002, 9:03 p.m. CST
It should be a teenager 16-19 somewhere around there. Really it is much better
Nov. 29, 2003, 1:59 a.m. CST
dunno if it's been posted yet, but Peter is being played by a 14 (well, he's 14 now) year old named Jeremy Sumpter... I believe he's the only American in the cast, or atleast the only american lead. Rachel Hurd-wood is playing Wendy, and that's all I know
Jan. 3, 2004, 7:46 p.m. CST
omg i just tried to enter this huge thing i just typed and it erased it and said my password was rong or sumthing!!! uGH! lol ok neways...i think this movie is really good...and i think its really cool that jeremy sumpter used to live in kentucky b/c thats where i live...and i dont understand why all these girls hate rachel hurd-wood i think she is a really talented actress..so what if she got to kiss jeremy sumpter? its not like i'll ever get a chance to...she has never acted before *or at least thats what i read* b4 this movie...and i think she did a very good job for her first acting experience...I have seen this movie 5 times *yeah now u think im a freak dont ya?* but i have and its not just b/c hes hot its b/c i think it was a really good movie and i think i could watch it over and over and not get tired of it...b/c it really is a good movie... *HaT*
Jan. 4, 2004, 5:47 p.m. CST
i don't understand how you couldn't like Hook!! it was a great movie and i used to watch it all the time when i was little and this christmas i got it on DVD... neways... on to peter pan! i LOVED this movie and i can't wait till it comes out on DVD! the casting was great and it was just an overall great movie!
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