Yo ho ho and a bottle of brass monkey, it’s officially a pirate’s life for Hugh Jackman.
This was rumored. Today, it has been confirmed that the X-Men and Les Miserables star has signed on to play the vicious pirate Blackbeard in Warner Bros. planned spin on the Peter Pan myth, Pan, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Greg Silverman, president, creative development and worldwide production at Warner Bros., said in a statement:
"Hugh Jackman always delivers indelible performances that resonate with audiences. We know he will create a Blackbeard who will be a powerful presence in this original Peter Pan adventure."
And he will. Jackman’s a go-to actor who rarely gets the credits he deserves. Don’t get me wrong. He’s an A-lister with a mega-franchise under his belt and an Oscar nomination on his resume. But how many other actors can claim to be as versatile as Jackman. He can host the Oscars, and hold court on Broadway. In the same year, he can open a superhero movie like The Wolverine, then captivate a grown-up audience in something as harrowing as Prisoners.
I’m in the tank for Pan, and it has nothing to do with Jackman. I’m 100% on board with everything Joe Wright does. Yes, even The Soloist. The Brit director has such a unique and powerful voice. He’s bored by convention, and explores genres by turning them on their side and looking for new ways in. Hanna was a fascinating take on the spy genre, stimulating enough to get people talking about Wright helming a Bond movie someday. And his Anna Karenina was one of the most engaging interpretations of the classic novel that the film industry has ever produced. Seriously. Love.
Now, I’m familiar with the Pan story, and I don’t remember Blackbeard being a part of J.M. Barrie’s play. Captain Hook? Sure. (And Garrett Hedlund might play him.) Mister Smee? Absolutely. Neverland’s a big place, and Jackman likely will have a lot of creative freedom to create a villain – I’m assuming he’ll be a villain. Maybe he’ll be an ally to Peter Pan? As long as Blackbeard is different from the one Ian "Deadwood" McShane played in On Stranger Tides, we’re good to go.