Warner Bros. has made a prequel to the many many Peter Pan movies, cartoons, and books, and it. Looks. Drab.
Young Peter is a Dickensian orphan in London, the only place in the UK that also exists in Hollywood UK, and one day, for reasons predictable (familial destiny and spunk, gosh darn), piratical (a kidnapping) and strangely mundane, he gets to leave his chimney-ash encrusted life behind for Neverland.
The flying pirate ships are a hail mary pass here: this Neverland is drab, dull and full of no wonders we haven’t seen before. Pirates, fairies, and kids running wild. Hugh Jackman, continuing his downward spiral into Johnny Deppdom, in a weird wig. A young Hook teaming up with an even younger Pan, in a wish-it-was-Malificent twist. Colour blind casting, AKA whitewashing, resulting in nary a person of colour in the main cast, and a woman of colour played by a bottle blonde, white woman.
Tiger Lily has always been problematic, and often a straight up racist caricature. Her most famous portrayal in Disney’s 1953 Peter Pan, was all costume, no substance: a racist grabbag of stereotypes and fetishization. But Tiger Lily and her tribe don’t originate with Disney. They’re present in the source material, and while JM Barrie can’t be considered progressive, his Tiger Lily had enough substance that other adaptations have tried to rehabilitate the character.
Not so for Warner Bros.
— Eric Haywood (@Eric_Haywood) November 25, 2014
We knew this was coming and have been bracing ourselves since Rooney Mara was cast as Tiger Lily, but this is some extra fine bullshit right here. Rather than dig into the source material and adapt it for modern audiences, the team behind this least-needed prequel decided we needed a colour-blind “tribe” of randoms in feathers. You are no Rufio, Rooney Mara. Sit down.
I am so tired of this, Hollywood. I am tired of liberal directors with racist visions and I am tired of the studios who encourage and fund them. I am tired of liberal actors who sign on for these parts. You should know better, Rooney Mara. You too, Johnny Depp. What are you doing there, Hugh Jackman? Go make another robot boxing movie.
Let’s skip this movie, just like we skipped Lone Ranger. Don’t see it in theatres. Don’t see it on DVD. Don’t see it on Netflix. Let it sink, sink, sink, to the bottom of Mermaid Lagoon.