Syfy heads to 'Neverland' for 'Peter Pan' prequel
Nick Willing will direct a cast including Anna Friel, Rhys Ifans and Bob Hoskins
The writer-director behind Syfy's "Alice" and "Tin Man" is bringing a new take on the "Peter Pan" tale to the cable network.
Syfy announced on Wednesday (Sept. 1) that Nick Willing will write and direct "Neverland," a four-hour original prequel to J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan," beginning production in Italy and Ireland in September.
The movie event will air on Syfy in 2011.
"Neverland" stars Rhys Ifans ("Notting Hill") as James Hook, Anna Friel ("Pushing Daisies") as Captain Elizabeth Bonny and Charlie Rowe as Pater Pan. Best of all, it features Bob Hoskins as Smee, a role he previously played in Steven Spielberg's "Hook."
Willing's take begins in Victorian England and appears to be mighty Dickensian, making Peter into the head of a gang of pickpockets working the streets of London at the turn-of-the-century. Jimmy Hook is the Fagin-esque mentor, who helps them snatch a treasure which somehow whisks all of them off to Neverland.
"Nick Willing is a master story-teller who has taken a literary Classic and cleverly updated it for a new generation," states Mark Stern, whose unwieldy title is Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Syfy and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions. "'Neverland' will captivate viewers with a gripping narrative, great characters, and unprecedented film-making techniques."
"Alice" earned a pair of Emmy nominations this summer, including an acting nod for co-star Kathy Bates. "Tin Man," which aired in 2007, was even more successful, picking up nine Emmy nominations and winning for its makeup work.