Joaquin Phoenix might be trading one villainous role for another, as reports say Disney is eyeing him for the role of Captain Hook in their live-action remake Peter Pan and Wendy. Last month, it was confirmed that Disney was developing a live-action adaptation of their classic 1953 film and that the title would change from simply Peter Pan to Peter Pan and Wendy. Not long after, reports surfaced that Margot Robbie was being considered for the role of Tinker Bell, though her casting is not yet official.
In recent years, Disney has been focusing on producing live-action remakes of their beloved animated films. Audiences have gotten the chance to see the likes of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King brought to life. For the most part, they’ve been financially successful, even if some viewers criticize Disney’s reluctance to make anything original. The next live-action film on Disney’s slate is Mulan, which just released a new trailer ahead of its March release.
Now Disney is hard at work on prepping Peter Pan and Wendy, as evidenced by the latest bit of potential casting news. The Illuminerdi reports that Phoenix has been offered the role of Captain Hook, though it’s not confirmed that he will accept it. Peter Pan and Wendy could end up on Disney+, though it’s noted that it has not been confirmed for the streaming service. Additionally, The Illuminerdi revealed the casting breakdown for Hook and his trusted sidekick Smee, which can be read below:
“Captain Hook: An unhinged, dramatic, and menacing swordsman, who is out to seek revenge on Peter Pan for cutting his hand off and feeding it to a crocodile. When Hook takes Wendy’s brothers John and Michael hostage he uses them as bait to lure Peter Pan.
Smee: A rotund fellow with a great grey beard, Smee is Captain Hook’s main henchman and servant who will do anything to please his captain.”
Phoenix is fresh off his award-winning performance as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros.’ gritty Joker. The film itself is up for eleven awards at this weekend’s Academy Awards, with Phoenix all but guaranteed to take home the prize for Best Actor. This past Sunday, Phoenix won the BAFTA for Best Actor and gave a powerful speech about the need for inclusion in the film industry.
The prospect of having an actor like Phoenix play Captain Hook is exciting, especially since he can clearly play twisted very well. Plus, if the project does go to Disney+, having a film with Phoenix in a vital role will be a huge win for the streaming service, as it’ll feel like a real high-profile film. It’s unclear exactly how Peter Pan and Wendy will offer a fresh take on the classic story of a boy who doesn’t want to grow up, but hopefully the title change suggests it won’t be a shot-for-shot retelling. If Disney wants to continue to make live-action remakes, they should try to switch up the stories everyone already knows.