Director Joe Wright’s newest film is an origin story for Peter Pan and Captain Hook. A prequel to J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, it stars Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as James Hook, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily and Levi Miller as the title character.
It’s a new take on an old tale, something Wright specializes in.
His versions of Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina are classic yet modern takes on their source materials, as sumptuously theatrical as they are emotionally fulfilling.
Perhaps growing up with puppet theatre proprietor parents can be credited for his dramatic bent, but wherever it came from, his work is unique and eye-catching and Pan promises more of the same.
Here’s a look at the Wright Stuff from his past films:
Set in pre-Second World War England, Atonement begins as an idyll. A rich family with two daughters, the fetching and flirty Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and 13-year-old Briony (Saoirse Ronan), are vacationing at their rural country home. The handsome son of the family’s housekeeper Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) is the object of affection for both girls, but he only has eyes for Cecilia. When Briony catches the two in a passionate embrace she is overcome by jealousy. To keep the lovers apart she impulsively comes up with a childish, but devastating plan to accuse him of a crime he didn’t commit.
Best eye candy moment: An astonishing continuous fiveminute shot of the nightmarish Dunkirk evacuation, complete with 1,000 extras, livestock, and a beached boat all captured in one steady cam shot. “Basically, I just like showing off,” he jokes.
The Soloist is based on the true story of Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a musical prodigy who developed schizophrenia during his second year at Juilliard School, and wound up living on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Robert Downey Jr. plays Steve Lopez, a disenchanted Los Angeles Times columnist who discovers Ayers and bases a series of columns on Ayers and his life. Over time they form a friendship based on the liberating power of music.
Best eye candy moment: Wright loads the screen with artful pictures such as a symphony of colour that fills the screen whenever Nathaniel listens to a live symphony orchestra.
Anna Karenina, Russian writer Leo Tolstoy’s classic story of love, honour and deceit in 1974 Imperialist Russia begins with a family in tatters because of marital transgression. St. Petersburg aristocrat and socialite Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) travels to Moscow to visit her womanizing brother Oblonsky (Matthew Macfadyen) and his wife Dolly (Kelly Macdonald). Her counsel saves their marriage but the trip proves to be the undoing of hers.
Best eye candy moment: Every frame drips with beauty, from sets to clothes to Keira Knightley’s cheekbones, but the opening is a stunner, presenting what appears to be a stage production of Anna Karenina.