LONDON - The boy who never gets old returns to the screen for new adventures in an inclusive live-action movie about growing pains and facing one's fears. "Peter Pan & Wendy" is based on Scottish author J.M. Barrie's beloved characters and the 1953 Disney animation "Peter Pan".
It opens with the young Wendy Darling reluctantly preparing to leave her family and childhood behind to start boarding school. On the eve of her departure, Wendy and her two brothers are visited by Peter Pan and the fairy Tinker Bell, who teach them to fly and whisk them away to the imaginary world of Neverland.
In the faraway land, Wendy and her brothers meet Peter Pan's band of Lost Boys and battle pirates and their fearsome leader, Captain Hook. The escapade helps Wendy find her voice and regain her confidence.
Directed and co-written by David Lowery, the film stars Jude Law in the role of Captain Hook, Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell, Ever Anderson, 15, as Wendy, and Alexander Molony, 16, as Peter Pan.
Shahidi is the first Black actor to portray Tinker Bell and the remake features girls, as well as Noah Matthews Matofsky, an actor with Down's Syndrome, as members of the Lost Boys.
"To be able to have a generation of kids where this is their Peter Pan and Wendy is so special because hopefully it gives everyone the permission to dream big and know that they belong in these worlds," Shahidi, known for the TV series "Black-ish" and "Grown-ish", told Reuters at the film's world premiere in London on Thursday.
“Being a Lost Boy is a state of mind, right? Neverland is a place owned by everybody and so everyone deserves to go," added Law. "Peter Pan & Wendy" starts streaming on Disney+ on April 28.
(Reporting by Hanna Rantala Editing by Marguerita Choy)