When I first saw this headline, I will admit that I become irrationally upset that someone would mess with the structure of J.M. Barrie’s brilliant classic children’s novel Peter Pan and make the lost boys the lost girls. I’m one of the few out there who are tired of canon boy characters being turned into vehicles for women. I’m all about women being given their dues in Hollywood but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it.
This new film starring Ellen Burstyn, Emma Thompson, Gaia Wise, and Livia De Paolis is the right way to do it.
De Paolis, best known for Emoticon ;-), is starring in, directing, and adapting a novel titled Lost Girls by writer Laurie Fox. The book, and subsequent film, casts Peter Pan in a new light. It focuses on De Paolis’ character Wendy, named after Great Nana (Burstyn), the original Wendy Darling who was whisked away from her window to Neverland with Peter Pan when she was 13. Wendy was also taken from her window at 13 and fell in love with Peter. Now that she’s grown up, she’s married to a childlike husband, Freeman, who has no job.
Wendy, like Great Nana, and Jane (Thompson in a cameo role) before her, struggles with her legacy as a Darling woman and it all comes to a head when Berry (Wise) becomes dangerously entwined with Peter. As Peter pulls Berry further away from Wendy, Wendy must fight to retain her creativity and keep a hold of her daughter while also facing what Peter did to her all those years ago.
“I have been fascinated with the hidden meanings of fairy tales since childhood, so when I read Laurie Fox’s novel The Lost Girls I was immediately on board with the way she reinvents J.M. Barrie’s timeless fairytale for a contemporary audience,” De Paolis said in a statement.
“We are delighted to be working with the producers and with writer/director Livia de Paolis, who has a vision for this retelling of the Peter Pan story in the Me Too era,” added executive producer Kirk D’Amico, who is also working on the film. “The strong material has attracted an equally strong cast including Emma Thompson and Gaia Wise and others to be added soon.”
This is the third time Thompson and Wise have acted in a film together. Wise is Thompson’s daughter. So, while Thompson’s role is only credited as a cameo, it will truly be a family affair.
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