For all of the hook-handed pirate captains in Neverland 2015 was the year to start shaking in your thigh-high black boots because it saw the return of J.M. Barrie’s boy who never grew up to the big screen in Pan. There have been a fair few cinematic adaptation over the years with everything from the grown up Robin Williams as Pan the man in Hook (1991) to the 1953 Disney cartoon version and its 2002 sequel, Return to Neverland. It was as far back as 2003 when the last live action incarnation landed at the cinemas, but the new take resets the clocks with a very unique origins story.
Cinema: The film’s had its UK release date on the 16th October 2015, and while the details for the movie were a bit thin on the ground to begin with, things became clearer when the trailer landed, which you can see below. Even the title for the film was unknown to begin with, but with the impressive special effects, big set designs and the brightly coloured magic of Pan, it’s a film that had its biggest impact visually viewed in either IMAX 3D or 3D.
DVD, Blu-ray and digital download: It went on to be released for home entertainment in the UK on the 8th February 2016, following on from the US release on the 22nd December 2015. In addition to standard Blu-ray, it’s also available in 3D Blu-ray, which again is probably the best way to watch it with it’s spectacular special effects. Check out our review details below for more info.
The film is set on Blackbeard’s ship for the most part, after Peter Pan gets kidnapped by the pirates from his orphonage home in Victorian London. He and James Hook find themselves on-board the flying skull and crossbones together with Hook looking more like a young Indiana Jones than the dread pirate king that we all know him to be. They eventually strike up friendship at the outset of the Neverland saga, but with a massive quest to escape the clutches of Black Beard and find Peter’s mum, with more than a little help from Tiger Lilly, there’s a lot to test their team spirit.
In terms of the actual cast confirmed for Pan (2015), it originally stood as a list of one, being Hugh Jackman (X-Men: Days Of Future Past), who was been announced as the dread pirate, Blackbeard, very early on in the production. However, once the things got up to full speed towards the end of 2014, more names got added to the list, including Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy, On The Road and Inside Llewyn Davis) as James Hook, Rooney Mara (Carol) as Tiger Lily and Amanda Seyfried (A Million Ways To Die In The West) as Peter’s mum.
Kathy Burke has also been cast as Mother Barnabas in the orphanage that Peter starts his new story in, and the young adventurer is played by newcomer Levi Miller in the 2015 adaptation.
The movie has been directed by Joe Wright, whose previous work included Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna and Anna Karenina. While it might have seemed inevitable, based on Wright’s back catalogue, that we’d be getting a serious period adaptation of J.M. Barrie classic, you’ve only got to give the trailer below a quick run through to see that he’s taken a fun and adventure-filled approach to the story.
DVD and Blu-ray extras
DVD special features:
- The Boy Who Would Be Pan featurette
Blu-ray special features:
All DVD extras plus…
- Commentary with director Joe Wright
- Never Grow Up: The Legend of Pan featurette
- The Scoundrels of Neverland – looking at the pirates that maraud the skies of the fantasy island
- Wondrous Realms – looking at the Neverland created in Pan
We were initially unimpressed with Pan (2015) following the release of the teaser trailer (see below), which gave us a bit more of a glimpse of what to expect from the film. With the incredible might of J.M. Barrie’s stories behind it and more than 100 years of evolution and interpretation to work from, we had high expectations for the movie release, but things look a little too standard to really strike a chord.
However, now that we’ve seen the film, we know that things are a bit more muddled. There are undoubtedly elements that frustrate, including Garrett Hedlund and Levi Miller’s annoying accents, but visually it’s a stunning film with a lot of swashbuckling adventure and fun. Read our DVD review for more details.