Disney's Live-Action Peter Pan Movie Has Cast Its Tinker Bell

Yara Shahidi in Black-ish

(Image credit: (ABC))

Following Mulan, Disney still has faith and trust in more live-action versions of their animated classics including Rob Marshall’s The Little Mermaid, Robert Zemeckis’ Pinocchioand Peter Pan and Wendy, already set to star Jude Law as Captain Hook. The latest casting for the new take on J.M. Barrie’s classic tale about the second star to the right adds some pixie dust to the movie with a pick for Tinker Bell.

Black-ish fans rejoice!! 20 year-old star Yara Shahidi has reportedly been cast as Tinker Bell in David Lowery’s film, per Deadline. The actress played the oldest daughter of Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross’ Johnson family in the ABC comedy before moving to her Freeform spinoff Grown-ish and starred in the YA romance last year, The Sun Is Also A Star.

Yara Shahidi is the second Grown-ish cast member to be given a Disney live-action role. Her co-star Halle Bailey was announced to be playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid movie also starring Melissa McCarthy, Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina and Javier Bardem last year.

The Peter Pan and Wendy production has been making casting decisions throughout the year, starting with its title characters. Newcomers Alexander Molony and 13-year-old Ever Anderson will play Pan and Wendy. Anderson will appear as a young Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow next year. Jude Law was announced to be taking on Captain Hook in July, an iconic role that has been portrayed by Hugh Jackman and Dustin Hoffman in the past.

As for the new Tinker Bell, Yara Shahidi follows actresses such as Julia Roberts from Hook with her casting, and the role will be her most high-profile to date. There aren't a ton of details about how this version of Peter Pan will implement Tinker Bell into the Peter Pan story, but based on how Disney has been adapting its animated classics into live-action properties, she’ll take on a new version of the feisty fairy, who Peter Pan often keeps with him and is often prone to get jealous of Wendy.

Peter Pan and Wendy will be directed by David Lowery, who previously helmed Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story, The Old Man & the Gun and the upcoming A24 film The Green Knight. Lowery co-wrote the live-action spin with his Pete's Dragon collaborator Toby Halbrooks. Since we don’t know much about this take on Peter Pan, I can’t necessarily speak to Yara Shahidi’s casting, but she certainly had a standout presence in Black-ish and definitely brings something exciting to the cast.

Disney also previously had a standalone Tinker Bell movie in the works that Reese Witherspoon and Margot Robbie were rumored to be attached to at different points. Witherspoon was announced to star in the film titled Tink in 2015. It doesn’t seem like that project is in the works anymore, but perhaps if Yara Shahidi makes an impression, we could see her continue past Peter Pan and Wendy.

We’ll keep you updated about Peter Pan and Wendy as more movie and television updates come. Check out CinemaBlend’s 2021 release calendar here for what is coming next year in movies.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.