In keeping with the multi-racial Neverland that director Joe Wright envisions, “Four Lions” star Adeel Akhtar has been cast as Smee in Warner Bros.’ big-budget tentpole “Pan,” an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
“Pan” tells the untold story of how a young orphan boy from London is spirited away to the magical Neverland where he finds grand adventures that shape him into the hero known to generations as Peter Pan.
In an effort to appeal to international audiences, Wright plans to create a diverse Neverland and challenge audiences’ preconceived notions of the magical world first depicted in J.M. Barrie’s classic tale.
Wright is directing from a script by Jason Fuchs, and Greg Berlanti is producing with Paul Webster and former WB exec Sarah Schechter, who now runs Berlanti’s production company.
Also read: Rooney Mara in Negotiations to Play Tiger Lily in Warner Bros.’ ‘Pan’
Warners executive Courtenay Valenti will oversee the project for the studio, which will release the 3D movie on July 17, 2015.
Akhtar got his start in the 2008 Don Cheadle movie “Traitor” before landing one of the leads in the critically acclaimed 2010 jihadist comedy “Four Lions,” which was distributed by Drafthouse Films. The British actor recently appeared in “The Dictator” with Sacha Baron Cohen and he’ll soon be seen alongside Sophie Okonedo in the indie drama “War Book.”
Akhtar is repped by Hatton McEwan Penford in London.