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"Welcome to Neverand!" With the vocal boom of a carnival barker, Hugh Jackman helps kick off the first full trailer for Joe Wright’s Pan, a wondrous origin story for the legendary hero that will reinvent the fairy tale next summer.
You had me at "Joe Wright." The director of such lush and mesmerizing epics as Atonement, Anna Karenina and Hanna puts a unique spin on the classic work of J.M. Barrie to portray young Peter Pan (newcomer Levi Miller) as a stolen orphan snatched by the crew of Blackbeard (Jackman) and transported on a wild and colorful adventure to Neverland.
The tone of Pan appears to aim right at families – particularly parents, playing up Amada Seyfried’s character as having to give up her child (and Peter’s tender hopes that he will one day reunite with her in another life).
But on a recent visit to the London set of Pan, Joe Wright told me specifically that he wants to up the action in this story and appeal to children who are the same age as his young son. He's a father now, and that desire to entertain younger audiences will ensure that Pan goes for the humor and the heart as well as for the Yo Ho Ho of it all. Will you be brave enough, Peter?
Will it work, Blackbeard?
Don't be such a jerk! The trailer wraps with some hints at the pizzazz Joe Wright wants to bring to this Neverland tale. There are mermaids, and flying pirate ships, explosions of color that happen whenever someone dies in Neverland, and -- again -- mermaids.
What isn't conveyed -- yet, anyway -- is how important Rooney Mara's Tiger Lily will be to this production. She really ends up being the hero of this adventure, and information we picked up on the set proves that there will be a lot more with Mara in the marketing campaign as we get closer to the film's release. Right, Hugh?
OK, fine. Pan will be in theaters on July 17, 2015.