Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Little Too Far East?

Can you believe?

No, I’m not talking about belief in fairies, rather how much “everyone” seems to want to play with Barrie’s classic characters.

Once again, reader/fan ZZ has sent news my way.  [Thanks again ZZ!]

There’s an independent Peter Pan movie in the works. Sadly, it’s not an adaptation of the play or novel. No, once again, it’s a variant tale. Also once again, it seems to contradict Barrie right from the description. Why do people do this? How can they just ignore what’s in the original?

It's called East of Kensington.

Here’s the blurb:

Years after Peter Pan and the Lost Boys have overthrown the pirates, Peter visits London to return Wendy to Neverland when he is kidnapped by a mysterious Stranger who dwells in the dark decaying remains of the Darling house.

Okay, granted, it COULD be in accordance if we assume that Pan comes back MANY years, as in generations upon generations, as it is in my novel. But given that Wendy seems to be a character in it (which I learned from poking around online) there’s little room for anything to fit within Barrie. Sorry, Jane and Margaret... your adventures have been negated.

What I can respect is that this grew out of a Senior Thesis, much like my novel had. It’s not entirely the same, since my became a senior Honors Project from an Independent Study for college credit. However, I wish that whomever oversaw their thesis had raised some questions about it and wanted the project to remain true to the source material.

I’m also curious about this “Stranger” - I, of course, fear that they’re using brother Michael. But then, unless a ‘device’ is used like my own, Michael would be a wrinkly old man or dead. Could be cool, I think, to have a spry elderly fellow thwarting Pan. But then, that wouldn’t be how Barrie envisioned Michael. Andrea Hook & Jill Jones speculates that it’s a variant of Hook. Perhaps, but then, as I might have said before, why use Hook again? Besides having to get around the fact that he’d been eaten by the crocodile, it would only rehash rather than advance the themes of Barrie. No way of knowing just yet who this Stranger is, but why do I fear that it’s something incongruous? Maybe because every other Pan-related tale has failed to be anything close to Barrie’s. (Hook & Jill is the only one that is both an exception and a following of this rule - that story is MEANT to veer away from the original tale but at the same time upholds the might behind the myth in more ways than one. In other words, H&J is not a sequel.)

Apparently, though, the filmmakers claim it is a retelling and not a sequel. A dark (Barrie IS dark, people!) re-imagining of what we know of the story. I don’t see how it can’t be a sequel given the premise and how they talk about it. Also, a tagline reads When Peter Pan returns to London he is kidnapped by a Stranger far worse than Captain Hook. which would mean it’s not Hook as Jones thought - or is she right about a variant? (I joked about a CrocoHook hybrid!)

I am also worried because in the sketches, Pan is shown sporting pointed ears. No. Just no. See here.

Also troublesome: The “donor titles” have such monikers as Captain Codfish, Loyal Lost Boy (as dollar amounts raise) but among them is Prideful Pixie. Really? REALLY??

And yet, they claim to want to dispel the Disney version that most people know by being more faithful to Barrie.  Doesn't appear that way to me.

As always, I am not trying to be a jerk about all this... I just don’t understand the misuse and blatant disregard. That goes for anything, not just works of Peter Pan and Barrie.

I certainly hope it's not as it seems and we get a fresh perspective.  As Ms. Jones always says - at least it just goes to show that Barrie is so rich and deep that we never tire of tinkering with it.  What an enduring masterpiece, eh?  "Everyone" wants a part of it.  Like me, though, she wishes people would pay more attention to their craftings.

I guess Time will tell. And don’t get me wrong. I’m always willing to re-invent this story. Retool it all you wish - just don’t try and make it connect to the original story and contradict it, please?

More if you wish to venture further:

East of Kensington

East of Kensington- Indiegogo Promo from Kellen Moore on Vimeo.


Lewelyn H said...

May I suggest checking out their blog? There's a lot more up to date information, and I'm sure they'll gladly respond if you leave them a message asking about how they are treating the original material :)


Peter Von Brown said...

I'd poked around on it, too, yes. I've also thought about contacting them, but I figure they have enough on their plate what with filming and location scouting without a pesky purist on their case. ;) There's nothing I'd be able to do to 'stop' them, so I'll just hope for the best. There is a chance they've found a loophole or way around it, such as Andrea has, after all.

And if it truly isjust a new lens for it all, all the better!