Yo ho, yo ho, it’s a pirate’s life for Jim Gaffigan. The Tesla actor has signed on Disney’s live-action Peter Pan & Wendy as Mr. Smee, the loyal shipmate to the villainous Captain Hook, to be played by Jude Law. And look, he’s already got the perfect hair for the part (hidden beneath that very real hat).
The Wrap reports that Jim Gaffigan has closed a deal to play Captain Hook’s reliable sidekick and first mate, Mr. Smee, in the live-action Peter Pan & Wendy film directed by Pete’s Dragon and A Ghost Story filmmaker David Lowery.
The casting is pretty much perfect — Gaffigan is a born comedian (with a surprising knack for drama) with a reputation for “clean” comedy that will fit in nicely with the family-friendly Disney values. Plus, he just looks the part — throw on a striped blue-and-white tee-shirt and a red hat, and he’s basically good to go.
Dare I be excited for a Disney live-action movie? The growing cast — which includes Ever Anderson as Wendy, Alexander Molony as Peter Pan, Black-ish star Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell, Alyssa Wapanatâhk as Tiger Lily, and of course, Law as the latest (though not the first!) smoldering take on Captain Hook — is exciting enough to pique one’s interest, with a share of newcomers and out-of-the-box casting choices to keep things interesting.
Gaffigan is of course, very in the box, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring casting; to the contrary he seems like he could do something interesting with the bubbly and bumbling shipmate Mr. Smee, who was voiced in the 1953 Disney animated film by Bill Thompson, played by Bob Hoskins in Hook, and portrayed by Richard Briers in the vastly underrated 2003 live-action Peter Pan.
I’m interested to see whether Lowery will lean heavily on Gaffigan’s comedic talents or go for a more nuanced approach, as is coming to be expected with the filmmaker, who has really impressed in the arthouse scene lately with films like the impeccable Ghost Story, the genial The Old Man and the Gun, and 2013’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. His 2016 film Pete’s Dragon is generally hailed as one of the underrated gems of the Disney remakes, and is likely a good blueprint for what we can expect of Peter Pan & Wendy. Considering the title, I could see Lowery going back to J.M Barrie’s original 1911 novel Peter and Wendy for inspiration.
Peter Pan & Wendy will debut straight to Disney+ at a yet-unconfirmed date.
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Author: Hoai-Tran Bui
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January 21, 2021