Now, I’ve touched on the topic of Disney live-action remakes before. It’s no secret that the recent crop of films have been receiving a lot more negative reactions from both critics and fans. As a result, there’s now a lot more skepticism surrounding them. And I completely understand that it’s hard to feel confident about these films because they’ve felt more like cash-grabs than passion projects. However, there is one upcoming remake that I think deserves at least a little bit of excitement: Peter Pan & Wendy.
A remake of Disney’s 1953 animated film Peter Pan, the film will once again tell the tale of a boy who wouldn’t grow up and recruits three young siblings in London to join him on a magical adventure to the enchanted Neverland island.
A big reason for my personal excitement for it is the film’s director. The person behind the camera for this remake is David Lowery, who actually already directed a Disney remake before – and a pretty successful one at that. He previously helmed the studio’s remake of Pete’s Dragon in 2016.
Lowery is a respected filmmaker whose credits include critically acclaimed films such as A Ghost Story, The Old Man and the Gun, and most recently The Green Knight. His Pete’s Dragon remake is the film most readers on this site are probably most familiar with. With that film Lowery was able to take some of his indie sensibilities and translate them in a big budget family film. It highlighted his strength with working with actors and putting focus on character rather than effects or nostalgia like many of the other Disney remakes have done.
With Peter Pan & Wendy, although we still haven’t gotten a full trailer what we have seen shows promise in my opinion. The problem with past remakes such as Pinocchio was that the filmmakers tried too hard to replicate the style of the originals to the point that they ended up looking more like hollow intimations. In my opinion, when you’re doing a remake the best idea is to take the story in a new direction.
That’s what worked so well with Pete’s Dragon. And it sounds like that might be the case with this one as well. Back in September, footage of the film shown at D23 to attendees was described as having “a grittier, more realistic take than we’ve seen before.”
Obviously, I could be wrong and it’s possible some of the other upcoming remakes can also be great. But Peter Pan & Wendy feels like the first remake in a long time that has a filmmaker behind it with a genuine vision. This time there’s someone at the helm who loves the original film, isn’t afraid to do something new with it, and (most importantly) willing to fix some of the problematic aspects that a film from 1953 could have specifically in regard to Tiger Lily’s character.
At the end of the day, I think we all just need a palette cleanser after Warner Bros. God-awful adaptation from a few years ago. And hopefully we get a sneak peak soon because the hype is real. More than anyone, I just want to see this film soar.
Are you excited for Peter Pan & Wendy? Are there any other upcoming Disney remakes you’re looking forward to? If so, sound them off below!