Syfy is re-teaming with writer/director Nick Willing to present Neverland, his original prequel to author J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan, it was announced today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Syfy and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions. Production is set to begin on the 4-hour movie event next week in Genoa, Italy and Dublin, Ireland with a cast including Rhys Ifans (Pirate Radio, Notting Hill) as James Hook, Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) as Captain Elizabeth Bonny, Oscar nominee Bob Hoskins as Smee (who previously played the character in Steven Spielberg’s feature Hook), Raoul Trujillo (Tin Man) and Charlie Rowe (Pirate Radio) as Peter Pan. It is slated to air in 2011.
Neverland will be produced by Dublin-based Parallel Films on behalf of MNG Films in association with Syfy and Sky Movies HD and will be distributed by RHI Entertainment.
“Nick Willing is a master story-teller who has taken a literary Classic and cleverly updated it for a new generation,” said Stern. “‘Neverland’ will captivate viewers with a gripping narrative, great characters, and unprecedented film-making techniques.”
“RHI’s creative partnership with Syfy continues to produce exciting appointment television for audiences worldwide,” said Robert Halmi Sr., RHI Entertainment. “Viewers are in for a rare treat – and one they won’t soon forget!”
Sweeping in time from the turbulent seas of the pirates of the Caribbean to the back alleys of Dickensian London to a world of pure imagination, Neverland is the inspired origin story of one of the most cherished characters of all time Peter Pan.
Raised on the streets of turn-of-the century London, orphaned Peter (Rowe) and his pals survive by their fearless wits as cunning young pickpockets. Now, they’ve been rounded up by their mentor Jimmy Hook (Ifans) to snatch a priceless some believe, magical treasure which transports them to another world. Neverland is a realm of white jungles and legendary mysteries of eternal youth, where unknown friends and enemies snatched from time welcome the new travelers with both excitement and trepidation. These groups include a band of 18th century pirates led by the power-mad Elizabeth Bonny (Friel), and the Native American Kaw tribe led by a Holy Man (Trujillo), which has protected the secret of the tree spirits from Bonny and her gang for ages and that has meant war. But as the fight to save this strange and beautiful world becomes vital, Hook, Peter, and the ragamuffin lost boys consider that growing old somewhere in time could be less important than growing up right here in their new home called Neverland.
RHI Entertainment (NASDAQ: RHIE) develops, produces and distributes made-for-television movies, miniseries and other television programming worldwide, and is the leading provider of new long-form television content in the United States. Under the leadership of Robert Halmi, Sr. and Robert Halmi, Jr., RHI has produced and distributed thousands of hours of quality television programming, and RHI’s productions have received more than 100 Emmy Awards. In addition to the development, production and distribution of new content, RHI owns rights to more than 1,000 titles, or over 3,500 broadcast hours of long-form television programming, which are licensed to broadcast and cable networks and new media outlets globally. For more consumer information visit www.rhitv.com.
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in 95 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)