Yara Shahidi, who will play Tinker Bell in the upcoming live-action, Peter Pan & Wendy, recently spoke to extratv about the upcoming live-action remake of the classic 1953 film Peter Pan & Wendy.
The movie, set to release on April 28, is directed by David Lowery and stars Alexander Molony as Peter Pan, Ever Anderson as Wendy, Jude Law as Captain Hooks, and Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell.
During the interview, Shahidi discussed how the film aims to correct the stereotypes present in the original animated film. She expressed her excitement about being part of a project that means so much to people and emphasized that remakes should demonstrate why they are worth doing in the first place.
Yara Shahidi says Peter Pan & Wendy will Fix Stereotype
According to Shahidi, Lowery retold the story in a natural way that respects the Peter Pan canon while subtly correcting the original film’s stereotypes. In particular, he corrected the depiction of the natives, which was incorrect in the animated film and some past versions.
In the original film, John, Peter, and the Lost Boys come into contact with a native tribe that is depicted with cherry red skin. The group is called “redskins,” an outdated and offensive term no longer used. The characters further portray the native tribe members as cunning but not intelligent, perpetuating harmful stereotypes.
“It’s such a beautiful moment to step into a fairy tale that I think means so much to people, I think remakes have to be prove why they are worth being remade in the first place, and having had a chance to watch the film, I think David Lowery updates it in a such a natural way.
[He updates it] in a way that feels like it adds to the canon of Peter Pan and also subtly corrects the kinds of stereotypes that are unfortunately passed along through those fairy tales. Correcting the indigenous representation that was mistaken in the animated and in some of the past versions.”
Shahidi commended Lowery for respectfully revisiting the story and correcting these elements, ensuring that the film would be more inclusive and representative. The live-action remake of Peter Pan & Wendy promises to be a beautiful and natural retelling of the classic fairy tale while correcting past mistakes and promoting more positive and inclusive messages.
Tinker Bell Casting Criticism
Peter Pan & Wendy Trailer, released three weeks ago, had met with a lot of backlash for all the wrong reasons, especially for the casting of Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell, receiving 456k dislikes on YouTube.
Tinker Bell has always been portrayed as a white girl with blue eyes and blonde hair, and casting Yara Shahidi is seen by fans as an attempt to be “woke” and to diverge from the original material. Fans have criticized Disney for being more focused on diversity and casting opposite of the original characters instead of creating something new with a more diverse cast.