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Posted October 12, 2015 by admin in Resource
 
 

Catatan Produksi Film Pan (2015)


About the Production

I’m going to tell you a story about a boy who would never grow up. But this isn’t the story you’ve heard before… Sometimes, to truly understand how things end, we must first know how they begin.

An 18th-century galleon, 100 feet long and manned by pirates, soars through London’s night skies, pursued by World War II RAF spitfires spewing a hail of gunfire… A daring swashbuckler mines for prized pixie dust, keen to escape from a brazen buccaneer desperate for immortality… Wildly vibrant native warriors protect a secret, crystalline fairy land… And, at the heart of it all, a mischievous young orphan on a quest to find his mother discovers his true heritage-and his destiny-as the boy who could fly.

All of this and much more can be found in director Joe Wright’s epic, fun-filled family adventure “Pan.” Though the character was created more than a century ago, Wright says, “This is Peter Pan for 2015, a complete reframing of the story as we all know and love it. It’s Peter’s origin story and a classic hero’s journey set in a big, beautiful, bold world.”

Starring as the larger-than-life villainous Blackbeard, Hugh Jackman states, “Joe Wright is a true visionary, an adult who’s able to tap into a child’s mind and run wild, so audiences are going to see Neverland like they never have before. This was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had making a movie.”

“I really just wanted to make an exciting, entertaining film, and have as good a time as possible doing it,” Wright conveys. “It’s a pleasure making a film for kids because you can free yourself of too much seriousness. It’s a mad world we’ve created, full of color and texture and strange, wonderful images that hopefully feel like they’ve come from a child’s imagination.”

With author J.M. Barrie’s classic tale as the primary inspiration behind the story, Wright says he embraced the author’s “sense of strangeness. It’s a very odd book. It doesn’t underestimate children’s intelligence; there are no ‘goodies’ or ‘baddies,’ everyone is flawed, even Peter. I loved the duplicity of all the characters.”

Taking on the iconic titular role is newcomer Levi Miller, who says, “The script was magical, and to play Peter in a story telling the origin of Peter Pan was amazing, and really, really cool.”

Jason Fuchs, who wrote the original screenplay, was taken by the character at an early age-an enthrallment that never left him. “When I was nine years old, I was on a Peter Pan ride with my dad and we got stuck in a flying pirate ship over a miniature London,” he recalls. “It was literally the best 25 minutes of my life, up there with LED stars twinkling above us and Peter and Wendy flying five feet away.”

Those moments engendered the youngster with questions he would spend years hoping to answer. “At the time, I kept asking my dad, ‘How did Peter get to Neverland?’ ‘Why can he fly?’ ‘How did he and Hook meet for the first time and why do they hate each other so much?’ I read the original book in search of answers, but found only hints, and I always thought it would be great to make a movie that told the full story, that answered at least some of the questions I had that day.”

Greg Berlanti jumped on board to produce after meeting with Fuchs and hearing his ideas for the character. “This was Jason’s passion project, to reintroduce Peter Pan and his mythology to the world. Every generation deserves its own Peter Pan story; it was exciting to me to reexamine what we think we know about Peter and Hook and Tiger Lily, and to twist and turn those notions around. I think Jason and Joe executed it all brilliantly.”

“I’d never read a script like Jason’s, and I’ve read a lot of scripts,” Wright says. “But this one had a heart to it that I hadn’t really found in others for movies of this scale. And I have a son, so I really wanted to make this movie for him.”

Garrett Hedlund, who stars in the film as Hook-before the hook-relates, “When I first talked to Joe about the project, he said his son was having nightmares, and that by making this movie, he wanted to show him that nightmares, no matter how dark the fear, can always be overcome.”

Drawing on a line in the book about Hook training under Blackbeard, Fuchs expanded the role of the infamous pirate, making him Peter’s prime nemesis in the script and Hook a younger, two-handed adventurer looking for a way out of Neverland who realizes Peter might just be the ticket.

Producer Sarah Schechter notes, “Garrett brings charisma and charm to the role of Hook that we’ve never seen in that character, since we’ve only known him as a full-fledged villain out to get Peter Pan. In our story, the two are buddies, up against Hugh’s deliciously malicious Blackbeard. But they’ve also got Tiger Lily on their side, played with a striking otherworldliness by Rooney Mara. So, between Peter, Hook and Tiger Lily, there are great heroes for boys and girls.”

Mara was eager to work with Wright when the project was presented to her. “Peter Pan means a lot to me, and to most people, I think,” she says. “I loved the different movie versions of it when I was growing up; it’s such a special story. Getting to play Tiger Lily was a dream come true, and working with Joe was so special, and one of my favorite parts about being in the movie.”

The story Fuchs devised is the untold tale of how a young orphan named Peter would become the hero known forevermore as Peter Pan. A young woman, Mary-played by Amanda Seyfried-deposits her infant son on the steps of an orphanage called the Lambeth Home for Boys, leaving him with a note, a kiss, and a pan flute charm on a string about his neck. The story picks up with Peter, now aged 12, still dreaming of his mother’s return.

Shades of the rascally Pan readers all know are evident in the rebellious young lad who, along with his best friend, Nibs, revels in outsmarting the officious orphanage director, Mother Barnabas. But what the boys soon learn is that her greed doesn’t stop with the Home’s war rations. With her blessing and in the midst of the Blitz, Peter, along with several other boys, is plucked from his bed by a band of pirates and whisked away to an extraordinary place… Neverland.

However, it’s not the Neverland we’ve all come to know. Under Blackbeard’s rule, Peter and his fellow orphans-along with thousands more-are thrown into a massive dirt pit and forced to dig ceaselessly for the rarest of gems: pixum, from which pixie dust is extracted. But when Peter comes face to face with Blackbeard, he proves himself to have an extraordinary gift, and it becomes clear that the malevolent ruler may have even more to fear from Peter, and that his fate, and the very fate of Neverland, may rest in this young boy’s hands.

“The sheer breadth of imagination, the thoroughness and the attention to detail that Joe brings to bear on his projects excites me each time I work with him,” says producer Paul Webster. “Pan” marks their fourth collaboration, and from the beginning, he says, “Joe identified with the character of this lonely yet spirited boy. As soon as he read the script, it struck just the right emotional chord with him, which he needs to get involved with anything.”

Berlanti adds, “Joe was at the top of our wish list. We felt he would bring the magic, along with an elegance and sophistication, to make this enchanted world incredibly inviting. He gave us all those things and blew us away with his ideas of how to make the story even better and bring this world to life.”

“Joe’s passion and response to the material was exactly what the project needed,” Schechter emphasizes. “He had a very clear vision of a fresh and original landscape and for making a dynamic and exhilarating adventure for this universally loved character, not only for the sake of his own son but everyone’s sons and daughters, and the child inside all of us-exactly what makes Peter Pan such a timeless story.”

To create the landscape he envisioned, Wright opted to build much of the world of “Pan” on practical sets, in order to provide not only a sense of realism for his actors, but, in an effort to reaffirm the childlike environs of Neverland and give them an actual playground to, well, play in. In England, the cavernous stages of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and hangars at Cardington Studios provided enough space to service everything from the bleak London orphanage to Blackbeard’s vast quarry to the Neverwood and the natives’ Tree Village, to two full-size pirate ships, a mermaid lagoon, and more.

Wright offers, “The scale of our sets allowed Neverland to feel real and our incredible cast to come to work every day ready to play pirates, warriors, adventurers-everything we do as kids in our own minds, but in a physical setting that makes it a real adventure, in a kind of 3D, kaleidoscopic world of color.”

 

BLACKBEARD

Are you brave, Peter?

PETER

I try to be.

In “Pan,” Peter is a smart and rebellious 12-year-old boy who has spent his entire life in a dreary London orphanage called the Lambeth Home for Boys, a truly Dickensian dwelling run by a heartless nun. That he still holds out hope that his mother will return for him speaks to the strength of his spirit, and when he finds himself swept away to a fantastical world of pirates, warriors and fairies, his determination to be reunited with her is only strengthened.

Due to the range of emotions and physical requirements of the character, the filmmakers knew that casting Peter would be one of their most critical choices in making the film, and therefore left no stone unturned. “We sent out casting directors to every English-speaking country in the world, and received thousands of tapes and held open castings as well,” Wright recalls. “We whittled it down and whittled it down, and I met with probably a couple hundred, myself. Then we were sent Levi’s reading, and there was instantly something sparkly about him, something in his eyes that was hopeful and wondrous, open to possibilities. He was just a normal kid in Australia who’d never done a big, dramatic role of this size before. He came to L.A. to meet with us and he just shone. And he’s smart and a very good actor. He was our guy.”

Miller couldn’t have been happier to get the news when Wright rung him up. “It was crazy, something I never thought could have happened! I screamed, I laughed, I cried,” the young actor effuses. “I couldn’t believe that I got the part and I just wanted to get started!”

Miller eagerly poured his boundless energy and extraordinary focus into rehearsals and physical training to prepare for the immense demands required to play the title role. “Peter is brave and adventurous,” he says of his character, “and even a bit selfish. But he has a good reason for doing what he’s doing: the one thing he wants in his life is to be reunited with his mother.”

Until the night Peter is taken away to Neverland, Lambeth is the only home he’s known, and Mother Barnabas and the other nuns his only parental figures. “It’s a pretty sad place and the headmistress, Mother Barnabas, is a monster, an absolutely terrible person,” Miller says, quickly adding, “but the actress who plays her was lovely!”

Peter’s closest ally, Nibs, is played by Lewis MacDougall, who, Miller says, “is my best friend in the film and in real life, which was pretty cool.”

However, once he departs the confines of Lambeth-without Nibs-Peter is on his own and soon under the control of a far more evil dictator: Blackbeard.

“Blackbeard doesn’t like Peter because he thinks Peter is in the way of him finding eternal youth; this is not good for Blackbeard and, in return, that’s not good for Peter,” Miller relates.

“In just the blink of an eye, you could be dead with Blackbeard,” says Jackman, portrayer of the pirate all other pirates fear. “Levi was really able to stand up to me in our scenes together, and I was really proud of him. He’s just a natural and clearly too young to know how hard it should be! You never catch him acting; he’s just completely present and relaxed playing this character who is a fish out of water, and very frightened. But you feel the beginning of the Peter Pan chutzpah, that mischievous, cheeky, playful Pan we know. Levi’s got that in spades.”

In the role of the self-appointed dictator of Neverland, Jackman tried to view his character as Peter and the other boys might. “If you assume the imagery is all coming from a child, adults should always be somewhat frightening and ridiculous at the same time,” he offers.

“When I first met with Joe,” Jackman continues, “we discussed why these stories exist in the first place, the role they play in kids’ lives-and adults’ lives. Peter Pan is one of those seminal stories that is known by all ages in all countries. It’s universal, and in creating an origin for Peter, I think Jason and Joe really hooked into the inner child within all of us.”

“For Blackbeard, Jason expanded on just a grain of information from the book, and then created this incredible bad guy, who is played by the nicest man in show business,” Wright smiles.

“I’ve played bad guys before, but I don’t think I’ve ever played one quite this bad,” Jackman notes. “Not only is he dastardly, but he loves to hear himself talk, to make speeches and use big words. He thinks he’s very important, and he is scary, but he’s having a good time and that made him a fun character to play.”

Another reason the actor, who is also a celebrated stage performer, enjoyed the part was that in making his entrance in the film, Blackbeard makes an entrance, one most Broadway performers would envy. “I told Joe, I’ll never get to do this again, play a pirate that sees himself almost as a rock star, and actually get to sing a rock song as a pirate. We-me, the other pirates, the kids-we sang Nirvana, we sang some Ramones, all together, in unison. It was quite spectacular.”

“Blackbeard is a troubled guy, in search of eternal youth and capricious in the extreme,” Wright adds. “One minute, he’ll be charming and funny, the next he’s throwing someone off a plank. He was once in love and lost her, and ever since has been living in a kind of self-imposed turmoil, taking it out on everybody around him, a terrifying and unpredictable force. So we had to let him have a little fun.”

Apart from his lovelorn past, Blackbeard’s current woes stem from the shortage of pixum being found in the quarry he floats over in his formidable ship. Even his alternating threats of death and promises of sweets can’t motivate the diggers to find what is no longer there. “The fairy dust is running out, he can’t find enough to fulfill his needs,” Wright explains, “so he becomes ever more desperate. I think Hugh relished the opportunity to play this guy who can turn on a dime, who is violent and horrifying and yet also quite funny. He brought a lot of humor to Blackbeard, making him appear upset and even more threatening when the others didn’t laugh at his jokes.”

“Joe made it easy to take this character to the extreme,” Jackman says. “Everything he does has a creativity, a joy to it, and working with him you feel so supported. He’ll accept anything, there are no mistakes. You can fall on your bum, you can fall on your face. You can just go for it.”

Prior to shooting, both Wright and Jackman spent time with Miller, working out the rapport between Peter and Blackbeard to make sure he would be equally comfortable once the cameras rolled. “Hugh and I sat down with Joe in the rehearsal stages, talking over the relationship and doing a bit of fake fighting, which was great,” Miller says. “The character of Blackbeard was very frightening, but Hugh is an absolutely terrific guy, and it was pretty amazing working with Wolverine.”

Though Blackbeard is Peter’s nemesis in the film, it’s Captain Hook who audiences would expect to see him up against. However, the filmmakers decided to not only explore Peter’s origins, but to give moviegoers a glimpse into Hook’s as well. “James Hook is an enigma,” Wright says. “He comes from somewhere, but the longer you stay in Neverland, the more you forget. He’s got this desire to get back to wherever he came from, but he can’t really remember where that was. And he’s been in the mines under Blackbeard’s thumb for so long, he’s become a survivor, and a self-centered, selfish one at that.”

Hedlund, who plays the destined-to-be Captain, offers, “Hook starts off in the film as a prisoner digging for Blackbeard; he’s a demoted, deflated man who’s a bit mysterious and seems quite lost. But when he sees Peter, and sees what he can do, Hook thinks he’s found his golden ticket out of there.

“That’s really where his journey begins,” Hedlund says, “right alongside Peter Pan, instead of against him…and before he comes into conflict with any crocodiles.”

What the actor loved about playing Hook was the character’s selfish, weasely nature. “He’s found his way to complete his objective, which is to get off this island called Neverland, even if it means going back to a place he hardly remembers. If he has to convince this kid he’s his new best friend and willing to help him find his mother, so be it.”

“Hook and Peter both want something from each other,” Miller adds. “Peter wants help to get through the Neverwood jungle so he can find the Native Village and, hopefully, find his mother there. Hook wants to go home and he thinks Peter can help him. So really they’re helping each other, each for their own benefit.”

Though James Hook’s true origins remain a mystery, “We discussed how I would play Hook, including whether he would be English or American or something else,” Hedlund says. “Then Joe had this wonderful idea that he should be somebody that could have been plucked out of an old John Ford film.”

“Garrett was brought up on a farm in Minnesota and has a very sweet-natured, rural sensibility about him,” Wright observes. “He makes me feel the fresh air. He makes me feel the wide open spaces. He has a kind of rural rhythm to his speech, but he’s very quick with his humor. He’s almost old-fashioned in a way, and I found that fascinating about him and encouraged him to use it.”

According to Wright, Hedlund took the description to heart off the set as well. “Often, if we were working on a scene that didn’t involve Garrett, Levi and Adeel Akhtar, who plays Smee, I’d find them all in Garrett’s trailer, and Garrett would be playing some old cowboy song on guitar with Adeel accompanying him on banjo and Levi humming along.”

The more seasoned Hedlund says that it was easy to form an on-screen bond with newcomer Miller, and a pleasure to spend down time with him as well. “Everyone spoke to Levi as an adult and he responded back in the same mature manner, and is so smart and so bold and willing to take chances, it was easy to forget that he was just 11 years old; I felt like I was talking to a buddy. I think that this story, which is so dependent upon believing in the fantasy that is Neverland, where ships fly and everything is ruled by pirates, required someone with his intelligence and his ability to access his emotions, even at such a young age. Ironically, to play a boy who will never grow up, it takes a fairly grown-up kid.”

Peter and Hook-with one of Blackbeard’s minions, Smee, tagging along-commandeer a vacant ship and head for the Neverwood, where they crash land among the trees and hope to find their way to civilization…whatever that might be on this side of the island.

“They’ve gone through this immensely daring struggle to make it out of the mines, and here they are, in the middle of nowhere,” Hedlund explains. “The next thing they know, they are attacked by Neverbirds, which are insanely huge, incredibly dangerous and life-threatening. Then, before they can even begin to defend themselves, they are saved by this girl who drops in and does all these martial arts moves to rescue them.”

That girl is a beautiful native of Neverland called Tiger Lily, one of her tribe’s fiercest warriors. “When we were thinking about this scene at the beginning of production, I asked Joe, ‘When do you think was the last time Hook even saw a lady?'” Hedlund laughs.

“Hook meets Tiger Lily and immediately objectifies her,” Wright conveys. “Of course, she won’t let him.”

Before he knows it, Hook finds himself hanging upside down, surrounded by Tiger Lily and the other Villagers, who suspect he’s a pirate and expect him to battle their greatest fighter. “Tiger Lily is quite guarded and suffers no fools,” the director purports. “During our search for an actress to play her, Rooney came in and I found her to have such poise about her that it felt like she was something out of a fairy story. She’s quite regal and her performance is finely calibrated.”

Mara says that as one of the few women to figure prominently in the film, “Tiger Lily is a strong female because she has to be. Like her fellow villagers, she is just trying to live in peace and protect their little oasis from these outsiders. But she also has a softer, nurturing side.”

That side comes out when she tasks herself with defending Peter as the long-awaited Pan, prophesized to come to the aid of the fairies living under Tiger Lily and the other natives’ protection and to save the world she loves.

“Peter shows up and is clearly part of the prophecy,” Mara continues. “But I think Tiger Lily and the others expected someone a little taller, a little more capable, and he’s just this little boy. Nevertheless, they’ve been waiting and waiting for this moment and it’s finally here, so there’s a lot of excitement. And Tiger Lily feels responsible for Peter and wants to see him fulfill his destiny.”

Throughout the course of Tiger Lily forming a bond with Peter on screen, Mara enjoyed building a connection with Miller on set. “I loved working with Levi. He is so present and he doesn’t have any cynicism; everything was new and exciting to him, like every day was the first day. It was really lovely and infectious to be around.”

Mara’s shooting schedule brought her onto the set after Miller, Hedlund and Jackman had already been working together for a time. “I was like the new guy in town, and those three had already established a great dynamic; they were really funny together,” she says. “I think Levi was lucky that Garrett and Hugh were the men in this movie because they’re both such hardworking actors and very generous, and neither ever complains. They were great examples for a young actor like Levi to look up to.”

Prior to filming, Mara and the others went through extensive fight training in order to perform the various stunt work required of them. “Rooney had to do a lot of action sequences in the film, probably more than the guys, but I quite liked the idea of the girl doing most of the fighting. She worked really hard at it and got pretty tough. She gave Hugh a run for his money, which is quite impressive, ’cause he’s good,” Wright says.

“Rooney’s a tough girl,” Jackman attests. “We have a long fight sequence in the film and spent two or three weeks together on it. You can get to know people in many ways, but when you fight someone for three weeks, you really get to know them.”

“Blackbeard is the bad guy, the meanest, leanest pirate around,” Mara states. “But Hugh is just the nicest man. His work ethic is like nothing I’ve ever seen. He showed up to training every morning and worked so, so hard. He was just fantastic to work with.”

Fight consultant Jamie Goulding trained Jackman in swordplay, did kickboxing training with Mara and Miller, and held martial arts boot camp sessions for any extras who needed it. Stunt coordinator Eunice Huthart and her team devised the numerous stunts to be performed in the film.

“This was a very busy one for the stunt department,” Huthart says. “Everything was character-related, which is great. Action is my thing, but even I get bored of action for action’s sake. Fortunately, my work was all character-driven, which allows us to make the action a bit more personal, and that’s ideal.”

“I love Eunice,” Mara says. “I’ve done some stunts before but nothing that had to be so precise. My work on ‘Pan’ had to be as close to perfect as possible, not only because Tiger Lily is a trained fighter, but because of the costume-so much of me was on display that every move had to be right. I felt like I spent most of the film with the stunt department, which was a whole new experience for me and I loved it.”

Mara and Jackman’s extended battle involved some particularly tricky choreography for Huthart. It was complicated and intricate, and was shot over multiple days on multiple levels, with the actors working on narrow beams and high rigs.

“Spikes! Joe’s ingenuity, his vision, it’s just amazing,” Huthart declares. “His idea was to have these two characters fighting not only on the front of a ship, but out on these spikes that are very narrow and go to a complete pinnacle, almost like a balance beam, where some of the combat actually takes place. Rooney and Hugh worked extremely hard on it, and together we pulled it off.”

In addition to getting her footwork down, Mara had to undergo weapons training as well. “I’ve never used a weapon like this before, so I had Tiger Lily’s axes with me all the time, even at home, so I could get comfortable with them,” she says. “I wanted them to feel like an extension of my arms. It’s such a great prop, there are so many things you can do with them.”

The first day on the Tree Village set was also the beginning of the epic trampoline fight sequence between Hook and the native’s great warrior, Kwahu. One of many standout action sequences in the film, it showcased not only the extensive capabilities of Hedlund, but also the extraordinary talents of South Korean actor/free-runner/gymnast/martial arts expert Taejoo Na, who was able to do many of the required stunts without wires.

Hedlund elaborates, “Hook has a fight sequence with Kwahu, and it’s a situation where Hook is meant to protect himself and Peter, and he thinks he can probably handle himself quite well-he’s strong enough, he’s agile enough, generally. But all of a sudden he’s put on this trampoline, something he’s never been on before. It turned out to involve a lot of stunts that were quite hilarious to shoot and should be entertaining to watch, especially when Hook first sees this Kwahu character. He’s expecting some insanely huge warrior who is eight feet tall and looks like a WWF wrestler, but the guy’s 5’5″, barely bigger than Peter, and he’s still able to throw him around like a ragdoll.”

As Peter, Miller also had a good deal of stunt work to accomplish, primarily learning to fly. “Being on the wire and going up in the air, and down and forward and backwards, it was so much fun,” he says. “Peter does a lot of falling before he gets the hang of it.”

Another challenging action sequence features a large number of pirates fighting the natives, as they search for Peter on Blackbeard’s command, an extraordinary clash of fighting styles as the natives display their agility, swinging from one place to another, fluid in their own environment, against the pirates’ crash-wallop-bang style of fighting.

One of those pirates is Bishop. Played by Nonso Anozie, he’s a one-eyed, muscle-laden thug who steers Blackbeard’s ship and, along with Kurt Egyiawan’s Murray, oversees their leader’s numerous subordinates.

Jackman in particular enjoyed working with his crew. “One of my favorite things in the film was the creation of the gang of pirates,” he says. “They couldn’t be more diverse, more surprising, eccentric, frightening… As Joe says, ‘Neverland is really from a child’s creative mind,’ so we all tried to go right along with it, and it was a good time.”

Hedlund concurs, “Joe really wanted them to have individuality, so he had the actors playing the pirates give themselves pirate names and talk about their own attributes, what made them different. It really felt like a theater rehearsal, and everyone had a lot of input, which was amazing.”

One of the most memorable among the brigand’s staff is Sam Smiegel. Known as Mr. Smee, he’s a bumbling cohort of Blackbeard’s whose uncommon knowledge of the mining operations induces Peter and Hook to bring him along on their daring escape from the camp. However, he’s not the brightest, or most trustworthy, ally.

A staple of British television, actor Adeel Akhtar plays the part, and describes him as having a sort of “arrested development. He hasn’t grown up in a lot of ways, and he has a mixed up sense of self-importance. If you notice, he has a little badge that he pins onto himself-that he’s made himself-denoting him as a sort of self-appointed manager. But nobody’s given him that position, he just decided that’s what he was going to do. So he carries around his little clipboard and takes notes on what others are doing.”

“We know Smee as being Hook’s right-hand man in the original novel and play,” Wright relates. “In our movie, he’s kind of middle management. He considers himself a supervisor in the mines, but no one listens to him; he’s assumed an authority that no one else granted him. Adeel’s a brilliant comedian for film because his comedy works best in close ups; you can see everything his character is thinking on his face. In Smee’s case, you can see him over-thinking, and even then coming up with the completely wrong thing.”

According to Wright, the wrong thing is precisely what Akhtar did not do. “When I have a character in front of me on the page, I imagine it being done in one way. When Adeel came in, he did something completely different and unexpected, and exactly what the part called for.”

Rounding out the cast are Kathy Burke as Mother Barnabas, the nun who rejoices in making Peter’s life horribly difficult at the orphanage, and, in the Neverland Woods, Jack Charles is Tiger Lily’s leader, the village chief. Cara Delevingne also appears in Neverland, as three enchanting mermaids Peter encounters amidst crocodile-infested waters.

As the story’s main catalyst, Amanda Seyfried plays Mary, Peter’s mother, whose mysterious fate spurs Peter on to discover his own. “I love Joe’s work, he’s one of my favorite directors,” Seyfried says. “I told him I’d be an extra in this movie if he needed me to, but luckily he offered me this wonderful opportunity to play the woman who gave life to Peter Pan.”

 

BLACKBEARD

Welcome to Neverland!

In a letter tucked inside his swaddling blanket as she leaves him on the steps of the orphanage, Mary promises her infant son Peter that he will see her again, in this world… or another. But even Peter couldn’t have imagined how different that other world might be.

Wright is well known as a filmmaker who enjoys intense prep work and active collaboration with his crew, often recruiting the same talent behind the camera from film to film. This creates a familiarity and the feeling of a “company” of players-an important personal and professional link to the world of theatre he grew up in, and a vital part of his moviemaking process.

Producer Paul Webster expounds, “Joe believes filmmaking should be as enjoyable as it is artistically stimulating. He’s very detail-oriented, and when it comes to the design of his films, he works hand-in-glove with his crew, which frees the imagination and becomes a creatively rewarding experience for everyone.”

Wright’s usual behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Seamus McGarvey, editor Paul Tothill, costume designer Jacqueline Durran and makeup and hair designer Ivana Primorac. They were joined on this film by DP John Mathieson and editor William Hoy and, for the first time on a feature with Wright, production designer Aline Bonetto, who had worked with the director on his commercial vignettes for Chanel.

It was important for Wright to have physical sets on which to shoot, a rare treat for members of the cast and crew who have worked on many productions that rely on huge green screen stages. As one might imagine, on a story of this scale, the set pieces were massive.

Therefore, Bonetto and her team were given the enormous challenge of designing and building the spectacular and sometimes surreal environments in which nearly all of the action takes place. The sets were created almost entirely on soundstages at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and Cardington Studios, one of the largest indoor spaces in Europe.

The film offered an opportunity for Bonetto and her gifted team to run wild, and she was excited by the scope of the job. “I love working with Joe because he is such a visual director, and it was especially exciting to work with him on a film where we had to completely create the world in which it is set. It was a huge task but nonetheless a thrilling one.”

From the get-go, Wright had a very clear vision for the film. “Because the story begins in the late 1920s, and then jumps 12 years later to World War II, I was looking for a very Fritz Lang-inspired aesthetic,” he says.

The task, embraced and realized by his team, was to take the audience on an extraordinary journey as much through his visual choices as the story itself, using a color palette system which purposely changes from one environment to the next. It starts with the noirish 1920s and shadowy 1940s London, then onto Neverland, which is at first as dreary as the drudge work the children must do, before becoming a rainbow of color and vibrancy-an opening of the imagination, the extraordinary and the fantastical, free of any seriousness despite the importance of Peter’s mission to save the fairies from Blackbeard.

The film’s opening sequence was accomplished on location over one week, with shooting taking place in such iconic locations as Kensington Gardens, the famous London Park, full of wooded idylls and graceful gardens close to where author J.M. Barrie lived and which provided him with the inspiration for Peter Pan; the Royal Albert Hall, one of Britain’s great Victorian splendors; and Blythe House, Kensington, another Victorian building. From there, the company settled in at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden and, six weeks later, moved to Cardington Studios.

There were two primary builds at Leavesden. For the bleak London orphanage, Lambeth Home for Boys, Bonetto devised a dark, monochromatic, color scheme of blues and grays to convey a world without imagination or hope. The design for the hellish world of Blackbeard’s pixie dust mines was inspired both by Brazilian goldmines as depicted in Sebastiao Salgado’s extraordinary photographs, and a microscopic image of the cell structure within the human body: a vast labyrinthine structure of tunnels going in every direction, seemingly never-ending, rendered in muted browns and oranges.

Moving to Cardington, the first day on the multi-colored Tree Village set was a particular thrill for everyone since it was the first time the majority of the cast saw the finished set, and with all the background artists dressed it was a spectacular sight. One of the two hangars there provided the massive space for the trippy set, the original reference for which had been a Brazilian favela, or shantytown. During the pre-production process, Wright felt the Village should feel more multi-cultural in its design, though still transient in its nature, as if the natives, fearing pirate invasion, could pack up and leave at a moment’s notice. So the team went from designing wooden tree houses to making tents, a cultural mix, including Mongolian yurts, Inuit tupiqs, Native American teepees, and even circus tents, as well as tribal shelters from Papua New Guinea and Africa. For the various abodes, Bonetto sourced an array of fabrics that could easily be dyed any color.

Set on platforms on various levels and linked by bridges and stairways, The Tree village was built from rustic timber sourced from off-cut old oak planks from lumberyards throughout the country. It took 13 weeks to build and measured a whopping 328 feet-by-164 feet along the floor, and 147 feet high, and was structured around the village’s centerpiece trampoline-which sees the fight with Hook and Kwahu take place. It was a liberating environment in which Wright and his creative department heads could collaborate with freedom and extraordinary attention to detail, resulting in the elaborate set decoration particular to each tent and every section of the village.

Adjacent to the Tree Village, Bonetto and her team built the enchanted Neverwood, a forest so big over the course of the shoot it developed its own eco system, becoming home to many different spiders, crickets and other insects, along with birds and even the occasional visiting bat. Wright wanted the flexibility to explore the forest with the camera rather than be limited by the build, so the art department gave him a series of intricate passageways and runs, which offered so many possibilities that cast and crew would actually get lost on set.

Amongst the sculpted fiberglass trees, some reaching up to dizzying heights of 50 feet, the forest contained thousands of real tropical plants, between 20 and 30 different species. They had been brought in from Italy, Belgium, Holland and Malaysia, where the art department and their greens team had found plants available in sufficient quantity and which had an otherworldly appearance, to dress amongst more familiar foliage. The tropical plants, which needed temperatures of 80 degrees to thrive, were slowly dressed in as the finishing touches were made, and grow lights were put in place so that the plants could survive in their new environment. Eight dedicated greensmen tended to the forest.

“I loved building playgrounds for us all to play in,” Wright says of the expansive set, one of the largest ever built in the UK and which many of the cast and crew described as their own theme park.

The adjacent Hangar also offered a gigantic area in which to house Blackbeard’s ships, The Queen Anne’s Revenge and The Ranger, as well as the vessel well-known to Peter Pan fans, The Jolly Roger. Designs were informed by historical references found at the Maritime Museum at Greenwich and the HMS Victory in Portsmouth, and took eight weeks to build and dress.

The two smaller ships were actually one build: The Ranger being the flying ship that arrives at Lambeth to sweep away a cargo of orphans, and The Jolly Roger, an abandoned flying ship from Blackbeard’s fleet that Hook discovers in Neverland’s Mermaid Lagoon. Once shooting was complete on The Ranger, it was revamped into the The Jolly Roger. Both looks were modeled after 100-foot, eight-gun, 18th-century galleon-class ships, and the overall set measured approximately 60 feet long-by-23 feet wide. Constructed from a steel framework with timber decks and fiberglass cladding on the sides and corrugated railings, The Ranger was dressed with frivolous items, such as a carousel horse, that the pirates-air gypsies and scavengers of the skies-might have stolen in their travels. Bonetto’s team then used paint, dressing and different rigging to turn it into The Jolly Roger.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s floating command center, was meant to mirror an 18th-century, 100-gun ship, and was in actuality almost 100 feet long-by-40 feet wide. The giant galleon, the pride of the fleet, was dark and moody, pewter in color, and intended to reflect the power of its captain. It was built only a third of its imagined size-the limit that could be safely rocked on its gimbal-with different levels and walkways to allow Wright the ability to move the camera and choreograph interesting sequences.

The real challenge was to get the boats rocking and rolling and, while moving like boats, also appear to float like airplanes, since they are flying ships. To achieve that, and at the same time provide a safe and efficient environment for cast and crew to work in, was a massive undertaking. Special effects supervisor Mark Holt and his team devised the substructure that allowed the pirate ships to appear as if in flight, while really rotating on gimbals operated by a programmable robot arm system he developed and perfected on prior films.

Weight had to be kept to a minimum because of the engineering involved, so the decision to build in fiberglass was made, with the plasterers and painters working wonders to create an old and weathered, wood-like finish to the galleons. A team of nautical riggers was brought in to rig the boats with working accuracy and authenticity.

“One of my main goals with all the sets, and a reason why I really wanted to do as much practically as we could, was to give Levi a fully immersive environment that would help him understand who Peter is and where he comes from,” Wright says. “Our teams were incredible and I feel that what they accomplished made us all feel like we were truly in Neverland.”

 

TIGER LILY

If you don’t believe, Peter, then neither will they.

Amidst the lush flora, the peaks, jungles and waters of Neverland are swarming with fantastical creatures, including multihued Neverbirds, mammoth Never-Crocs and enchanting Mermaids.

Peter, Hook and Smee encounter the Neverbirds almost immediately upon landing in the Neverwood, when the 12-foot-tall winged predators, which resemble a rainbow-feathered pterodactyl, swoop down on them.

“The Neverbirds are inspired by the novel,” Wright says. “They are big and quite terrifying, and although they’re scary, they’re also very clumsy and uncoordinated, like a bag of bones, which makes them even more unpredictable.”

These days, such feral fowl would ordinarily be conceived of in a computer. Though ultimately realized by visual effects supervisor Chas Jarrett and his team, the Neverbirds were designed by Wright’s sister, puppeteer Sarah Wright.

“I come from a family of puppeteers,” offers the director. “When we were trying to come up with the right look for the Neverbirds, I just wasn’t finding it. I asked Sarah to come up with something we could workshop.”

Sarah built a mock-up of the bird and used it to create its movement and characteristics. “She put together a little model using a seagull-type skull attached to a long neck made of several discs, a strange, skeletal ribcage, chicken feet and colorful feathers,” he continues. “She started operating it for us, and it was brilliant, so that became the model for our Neverbirds.”

While the crocodile that made off with Captain Hook’s hand is well known from the book, the Never-Crocs who lurk in the waters of Neverland in “Pan” are perhaps far more vicious than anything Barrie imagined. The massive beasts inhabit the Mermaid Lagoon, and, Wright describes, “They’re about 30 feet long, comparable to prehistoric crocs, albino, because they live in the dark, scared of light and nearly blind. They are most unhappy creatures.”

Oddly enough, the Never-Crocs’ greatest foe is not man, but Mermaid. As Peter, Hook and Tiger Lily seek out the mythic Fairyland, they arrive at the Mermaid Lagoon, where the beautiful, luminescent Mermaids swim playfully. And, luckily for our heroes, their incandescence frightens away the monstrous crocs because they are also capable of stinging the beasts with their electrified tails.

Playing the three Mermaids Peter encounters is just one actress, Cara Delevingne. Wright had worked with her before, on “Anna Karenina,” and hoped to lure her back for the pivotal cameo in “Pan.”

“I called her up and asked her if she’d like to come be a Mermaid,” he says, “but rather than casting three different actresses, I thought Cara could just be all three.”

A relatively new arena for Wright, the director was excited to work with his visual effects team, lead by visual effects supervisor Chas Jarrett, who, among many other feats, turned Delevingne into three underwater sirens with long, swirling locks and glowing tails, and created countless tiny fairies in the form of tiny specks of the brightest light.

The film also contains three unique animation sequences: the “Prologue,” “Memory Tree” and “Underwater Flashback.” Wright remembers as a kid “being fascinated by the idea that when you cross-section a big tree, the rings could be counted as years. I’d seen one tree that had a pin in one of its rings that marked the Battle of Hastings, and when that happened in that tree’s history.”

That memory gave him the idea to incorporate some of Peter’s family history in the rings of a tree. “I was looking at some wonderful work by Andrew Huang, who did some music videos for Bjork and Radiohead, as well as some amazing short films. So I called him up and asked if he would come do some animated sequences for ‘Pan.’ He’s incredibly talented.”

While plunging Peter into his past, present and possible future, Wright also sought to bring audiences into Peter’s world in as all-encompassing a manner as possible. With the help of stereographer Chris Parks, Wright turned, for the first time as a filmmaker, to 3D technology.

“What we’ve tried to do with ‘Pan’ is to create a completely immersive world, for kids and adults,” Wright asserts. “I’ve never worked with a better canvas for 3D than Neverland, so I knew it was time to give it a go, and I think that audiences are going to experience this world of wonder in ways they’ve never imagined.”

 

CHIEF

The little one, he wears the pan!

HOOK

Yes, he’s the boy who can fly!

Costume designer Jacqueline Durran and hair and makeup designer Ivana Primorac, along with Julie Dartnell, who handled Jackman’s makeup and wig styling, had the mammoth task of creating looks not only for the principals, but also for the hundreds of extras. They, too, worked closely with Wright, embracing his vision of an explosive show of culture, color and texture.

When Wright first met with Jackman about playing Blackbeard, the actor recalls, “He showed me the image he had in mind for the character, and it was a picture of my face superimposed on the body of Louis XIV, with a Marie Antoinette wig on, and I said, ‘I’m in!'”

Durran crafted a very specific look for each of the principal characters, savoring the process of building character through costume. Former French monarchs aside, “there were certain givens to Blackbeard’s costume, which evolved as we started the fitting process, one of course that he would wear black,” she notes. “We also wanted to create a very interesting silhouette for him.

“Another idea was that, because of his pixie dust-enhanced immortality, he has lived over centuries,” Durran goes on to say, “so there are elements that make up his costume that come from different periods. But he has decided that they’re his ‘look,’ and he’s carried them on through the ages.” Feathers also figure into Blackbeard’s appearance, and wigs, which cover his baldness and dreadful scalp marks and help to serve the youthful facade he strives for.

Jackman was thrilled with what Durran achieved for his character. “Jacqueline has an incredible eye for detail, a great sense of humor, and eccentricity that, whilst elevated, is not over the top,” he says.

Primorac says, “Joe and I had a great time amalgamating different elements from history into this very scary pirate who we wanted to look very different from any other pirate we’d seen before.”

For Durran, that excluded certain eras, mainly “the majority of the 17th and 18th centuries, because that’s been done so often and so well.”

The natives’ wildly original and playful looks are a merge of costumes from different cultures from around the world. A great deal of work was involved in researching various clothes of indigenous peoples and combining them in a multitude of different ways to create unique looks. Wherever Durran came upon cross-cultural elements-for example, a similarity in the way two different cultures would tie belts or sashes around their waists-she subverted it, instead combining elements that didn’t go together and couldn’t be traced to any one particular group.

Particularly influential were the costumes of the Yoruba people from West Africa, one of the largest African ethnic groups south of the Sahara Desert. Their traditional clothing, still worn on important occasions and in rural areas, is very colorful and elaborate, using block prints with geometric designs. Sourcing a Yoruba costume from a gallery in the United States, Durran says, “It was a representation of what we were aiming for. Two of our dancers wear the costume during the ceremony and it was fantastic to have the foundational idea represented.”

For the natives’ hair and makeup, Primorac referenced Chinese and Indian makeups, particularly the Kathakali makeup from Southern India, which she describes as “a binding element” for the group. By bringing in makeup specialists versed in this ancient art, her team learned how to apply it and how to adapt and design their own version of it. “We also decided that, in order to have variation from character to character, we would have experts in those fields work alongside us, which really enhanced the whole look of the tribe.”

Tiger Lily’s style is similar to her tribe’s garb, with elements taken from different ethnicities and makeup influenced by Chinese Opera. Primorac offers, “Tiger Lily is a warrior who wouldn’t really be thinking about makeup, but I wanted a visage that would combine that with her more feminine, ceremonial look.”

“I had my first fitting with Jacqueline and Ivana, and we talked about the wig,” Mara recollects. “They knew what they wanted, but I had brought some pictures to give them some input, and it was exactly what they’d been thinking. Usually, there’s a lot of back and forth and finessing, but what we decided that first day is what made it into the movie.”

The team also approached the look for the pirates by subverting the conventional look one expects, on the basis that they have come from different places in the real world, and different times in history throughout hundreds of years, so their costumes cannot be attributed to any particular time. Durran took inspiration from some early research Wright had done into a maverick group of Sierra Leone rebels, known for their bizarre clothing, including women’s makeup, and with a particular fondness for wearing wings. Thus, unconstrained by a period in time, Durran was free to take the iconic elements of a pirate-belts, swords, boots, hats-and mix them up. A pirate wearing a 16th-century hat also dons a pair of 20th-century pants.

“Neverland gave us the freedom to pick from 400 years of costumes, and the only rule we were bound by was to avoid the 18th century, so we didn’t end up replicating pirates we’ve seen so often before,” Durran states. She also used lots of tartan, a nod to an ideology that the pirates were punk rockers of their time, refusing to live by society’s rule.

Wright expands, “The pirate crew are made up of a motley bunch of punks, really. I felt that they needed a kind of toughness, so one day during rehearsals, we did a sort of pirate boot camp. I encouraged them all to pick out colorful stuff to wear, while I was trying to find what might be the music that they’d listen to. We listened to all these sea shanties, but they were all too lyrical and lovely. I ended up putting on some old-fashioned punk music, and that seemed to hit the spot.”

 

MINERS

Hey! Ho! Let’s go!

Throughout production on “Pan,” Wright often played music on the set for the dedicated cast and crew, adding to the congenial atmosphere as well as setting the tone for scenes. “We all make these films together,” he says, “and I find that if people feel a sense of ownership of the film, they’ll try and make the best thing they possibly can, because it’s theirs. And we have a laugh, really. It’s important to enjoy yourself, isn’t it?”

“There are so many ways in which Joe distinguishes himself as a director, and music on the set is one of them,” Jackman says. “It not only creates a unique environment, but he realizes that for the actors, it can really do so much to evoke the right mood for a scene, and it helps provide a connection to what the final music in the film might be like.”

Levi Miller agrees. “He played dark music for the scenes in Blackbeard’s cabin, Reggae music for the scenes in the jungle, and rock music when we were in the mines and on the pirate ships. It definitely helped me get into the right vibe.” “Joe plays music constantly,” Garrett Hedlund adds, “so the whole crew is relaxed, dancing around even as they’re working as hard as they can. It’s an experience that I’ve never had before, but it really helped me dive into the wonderful imaginary world of Neverland.”

Utilizing music even early on, in this case, changed the entire course of certain sequences in the movie. Jackman surmises, “I think it’s due to his theatrical background, but Joe really loves the process of developing characters through rehearsal. After about two weeks improving with the pirates, he said, ‘You know, why don’t we play some music, and why don’t we sing. Let’s all sing.’ And by the end of that day, we’d pretty much worked out the song and the way we were going to have Blackbeard make his first appearance.”

And what a debut. The song-the first of two sung by Blackbeard, his pirates and the children working in the mines-is Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” It’s followed a bit later by The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.”

“In these awesome pirate costumes, on this unbelievably massive pirate ship, at the top of our lungs, we all turned into rockers, every single one of us. It was a day I’ll never forget,” Jackman smiles.

Artist Lily Allen also contributed two original songs for the film, written with Tim Rice-Oxley: “Something’s Not Right” and “Little Soldier.” The songs blended seamlessly with composer John Powell’s sweeping, adventurous score for the film.

Among the biggest highlights for Wright was the inclusion of world-class jazz drummer Tony Allen, who came to set and performed a solo to accompany the fight between Hook and Kwahu. The eclectic mix of musicians in the Tree Village scene also included a Brazilian Carnival-style band of drummers creating a fantastically interesting mix of African and Brazilian sound. They were joined by the African Children’s Choir, a large choir made up of children from Uganda who travel the world performing and raising money to fund education and relief efforts for African children affected by poverty and disease.

Music consultant Maggie Rodford, who has worked with the group for over 15 years and who is another of Wright’s regular collaborators, brought them to Wright’s attention. “I had seen one of their performances in South Africa, a dance called the Can Dance,” she says. “I thought the choreography might spark an idea that Joe could use for the film and showed him a clip of the kids, but he wanted to use the kids themselves.” They became the heart of the dance, and the rhythm of the dance-both precise and electrifying-provided wonderful moments on set for the week or so the children spent there.

“The group happened to be in the UK at the time,” Wright offers, “so they came to set and got involved, and they were amazing. They created this really wonderful atmosphere. It was nice to have a focus on set of who you’re doing this film for, and those days were definitely for them.”

“There’s something about that limitless sense of optimism and joy that kids have, and first and foremost, ‘Pan’ is an adventure story for kids-including the kid in all of us,” Jackman states. “We’re taking them to a world beyond the imagination, where they’ll meet characters steeped in great literature, but with a new light shed on them, and go places filled with excitement and exploration.”

Wright closes by saying, “Neverland is a place of wonder, a dream where whatever is required at that moment appears. If a tree is required for climbing, a tree will be there; if a lagoon is needed for swimming, it will be there. For Peter, who needs a family, it’s where he will find one. It’s as broad as the imagination that carries it, and what I hope we’ve done with ‘Pan’ is give moviegoers a visual and emotional experience that reminds them how much fun dreams can be.”

Pan-Poster2


Pan