Hugh Jackman To Star As The Villainous Blackbeard In Joe Wright's Pan

Despite the fact that he holds the record for number of times playing a single live-action superhero character - having played Wolverine in seven different films - Hugh Jackman has always managed to avoid being typecast by taking on many different types of roles in between X-Men projects. For example, he brought the tragic hero Jean Valjean to life in Tom Hooper's Les Miserables last year, starred in The Wolverine this summer, and unleashed a powerhouse performance in Prisoners this fall. Now that he's completed work on Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past, he's once again branching out, this time to join director Joe Wright for the new film Pan.

Described as a Peter Pan origin story by Variety, Jackman is in talks to join the production as the dreaded pirate Blackbeard. According to the trade's sources, Warner Bros. originally approached Javier Bardem about playing the part, but he wound up turning him down. Scripted by Jason Fuchs, the film will follow a young orphan named Pan who is brought to Neverland and becomes a hero while leading a revolt against evil pirates. It's probably safe to assume that Blackbeard will be the leader of said pirates, but for those of you wondering what that means for Captain Hook, Variety says that he will "serve as Pan’s close ally before turning bad."

This is the first big casting story for Pan, but it definitely won't be the last. The studio is planning an open casting call in order to find a newcomer to play the film's titular hero, and they are also on the hunt for "an actress in her mid-20s to play Tiger Lily." It sounds as though WB wants a big name to play Hook - presumably to set the character up for a sequel - and apparently they have been considering Ryan Gosling as a potential candidate.

All of the casting will need to be done soon if the production wants to meet its release date. Just last week it was announced that the movie will be coming out on June 26, 2015, suggesting that the film is being planned as a tentpole summer release for the studio. If this is true, production is going to have to start up early next year, which means getting all of the ducks in row.

As we learned back in late September, Jackman's next big project is Neill Blomkamp's Chappie which is currently in production and co-stars Sharlto Copley and Sigourney Weaver. The star will next be seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past, which hits theaters next Memorial Day.

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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.