Pan (2015 film)

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Pan 2015 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoe Wright
Written byJason Fuchs
Based onPeter Pan
by J. M. Barrie
Produced by
Edited by
Music byJohn Powell
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • September 20, 2015 (2015-09-20) (London[2])
  • October 9, 2015 (2015-10-09) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States[4]
Budget$150 million[5]
Box office$128.4 million[6]

Pan is a 2015 American fantasy film[4][7] directed by Joe Wright and written by Jason Fuchs. The film serves as a prequel to Peter and Wendy from Scottish author J. M. Barrie, which was first staged in 1904, and focuses on an alternative origin story for Peter Pan and Captain Hook. It stars Hugh Jackman as a fictionalized version of Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as Hook, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, and Levi Miller as Peter Pan.

Pan's world premiere was held in London on September 20, 2015,[8] and it was theatrically released in the United States on October 9, 2015, by Warner Bros. Pictures. Pan was a box-office bomb, only grossing $128.4 million against a production budget of $150 million, resulting in significant loss for the studio, and was received negatively by critics, with criticism calling the plot formulaic and the action heavily reliant on CGI. Some also criticized the casting of white actress Rooney Mara as the Native American character Tiger Lily; Mara would later voice regret over her role in the film. Meanwhile, critics also praised the film for the action sequences, performances by Hedlund, Jackman and Miller, and John Powell’s music.


Newborn Peter is left on the steps of a London orphanage with a mysterious pan flute pendant by his mother Mary. Years later during World War II, upon learning that the abusive Mother Barnabas is hoarding food for herself, Peter and his best friend Nibs are caught trying to steal the food for the orphans. In the process, they find a letter written to Peter by his mother, declaring her love and assuring him they will meet again "in this world or another".

Mother Barnabas summons pirates who kidnap Peter, Nibs and several other orphans. Nibs manages to escape, but Peter is taken aboard a flying pirate ship. Following an aerial battle with several Spitfires, the ship reaches Neverland, where the children are forced to mine for Pixum – crystallized Fairy Dust—for the pirate Blackbeard, who uses the substance to prevent himself from aging. Taken captive by Blackbeard's right-hand man Bishop, Peter meets another miner, James Hook. After insulting Blackbeard's men, Peter is forced to walk the plank over the deep mine, but survives by flying. Blackbeard tells Peter about the native tribe's prophecy of a flying boy who would lead an uprising to kill him, but Peter refuses to believe in "bedtime stories".

Peter joins Hook and his accomplice, Sam "Smee" Smiegel in stealing a flying ship and escaping into the forest. Determined to find his mother, Peter refuses to leave Neverland. They are found by the native chief's daughter Tiger Lily and nearly executed, but Chief Great Little Panther notices Peter's pendant, which is said to belong to their people's greatest hero, the legendary Pan. Using the Memory Tree, Tiger Lily tells Peter that many years ago, when the natives and fairies united against the pirates, the Fairy Prince and Mary, the love of Blackbeard's life, fell in love. When Blackbeard discovered them, the Prince took human form and sacrificed himself to rescue Mary, as fairies can live as humans for only one day. Mary was forced to hide their son Peter in the other world and seek shelter in the Fairy Kingdom. As half-fairy, Peter has the ability to fly but is unable to do so because of his lack of faith.

Fearful of Blackbeard, Smee betrays the natives’ location, and in the ensuing battle Chief Great Little Panther is shot by Blackbeard, who reveals that he killed Mary. Peter is hurt to learn that Tiger Lily lied to him that his mother was still alive, but she explains that he would have walked away from his destiny if he knew the truth.

Peter, Hook, and Tiger Lily escape in a raft to enlist the help of the Fairy Kingdom. They are attacked by a giant crocodile and Peter is nearly eaten before being rescued by the mermaids. Tiger Lily shows Peter a vision of Blackbeard accidentally killing Mary as she defended the Fairy Kingdom, revealing she was a great warrior who trained Tiger Lily herself. Hook leaves on an abandoned ship to find home while Peter and Tiger Lily arrive at the Fairy Kingdom, only to be ambushed by Blackbeard. Planning to use the fairies' vast amount of Pixum to live forever, Blackbeard takes Peter's pendant, the key to the Fairy Kingdom, and opens their gates, launching an attack.

Peter escapes and meets a fairy named Tinker Bell. Hook returns and fights Blackbeard's right-hand man Bishop while Tiger Lily duels Blackbeard, and the ship tips over, sending Hook and Bishop plummeting. Peter conquers his fears and flies to save Hook, then rallies the fairies against the pirates as Peter saves Tiger Lily. Blackbeard and his men are forced into an abyss to their deaths, with only Smee having fled. Peter sees a vision of Mary, who reaffirms him to be Neverland's savior: Peter Pan.

Peter, Tiger Lily and Hook, now captain of the Jolly Roger, return to London to rescue Nibs and the other orphans, who become Peter's crew, the Lost Boys. Hook and Tiger Lily fall somewhat in love, and Peter and Hook reaffirm their friendship, certain nothing will ever go wrong between them.


Hugh Jackman's Blackbeard costume on display at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis in 2015.


Jason Fuchs at the film's premiere.

The script for the film was listed on Hollywood's 2013 Black List.[16] In January 2014, Garrett Hedlund was cast as a younger version of Captain Hook.[17] On January 24, 2014, Jackman was officially cast as the pirate Blackbeard.[10] In February, a casting call was issued for the role of Peter Pan,[18] which went to newcomer Levi Miller in March.[9] In April 2014, Amanda Seyfried was cast.[11] In August 2014, British model Cara Delevingne was chosen to play a mermaid.[19] Rooney Mara was cast as Tiger Lily.[20]

Casting controversy[edit]

The casting of actress Rooney Mara as Native American character Tiger Lily, resulted in claims of whitewashing.[21]

Mara's casting caused controversy and accusations of cultural appropriation due to her being of European ancestry, while Tiger Lily is traditionally portrayed as a Native American.[22] Also considered for the role of Tiger Lily were actresses Lupita Nyong'o and Adèle Exarchopoulos.[23]

According to critics of the casting there are very few main roles for Native American women in Hollywood, and that the choice not only took one away from a Native American actress, but also perpetuated the invisibility of Native Americans in film.[24][25] During the film's casting, an article in TheWrap stated that director Joe Wright was trying to create a "very international and multi-racial" world.[26] However, most of the main characters in the film (including the four lead actors) are white.[27] A petition was created in response to the casting to urge Warner Bros. studios to stop casting white actors in roles for people of color.[28] Previous portrayals of the Piccaninny tribe in Peter Pan have been criticized as racist.[29]

Critics of the casting in Pan suggested that Warner Bros. may have wanted to avoid repeating the alleged racism of previous Peter Pan stories by altering the ethnicity of the Piccaninnies rather than stereotypically portraying the source material.[29]

In a February 2016 interview, Mara expressed regret for playing Tiger Lily (a Native American character) in Pan saying: "I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation. I really do. I don't ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated....Do I think all of the four main people in the film should have been white with blonde hair and blue eyes? No. I think there should have been some diversity somewhere."[21]


On April 28, 2014, the film's principal photography began.[30] Many natural scenes in the film were from Son Doong Cave, Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, and Ninh Bình Province in Vietnam, shot with the help of Bangkok-based Indochina Productions.[31] The captured scenes were then graphically edited into the film.


The film's soundtrack was released in 2015. It was composed by John Powell, and additional music by Anthony Willis, Batu Sener, Paul Mounsey. Dario Marianelli, a frequent collaborator with Wright, had composed a score for the film, but Warner Bros. later replaced him with Powell after test screenings.[32] Lily Allen wrote two original songs for the movie.[citation needed]

Track list


The cast and crew of Pan at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con to promote the film.

On December 12, 2013, Warner Bros. set for a June 26, 2015 release, with Joe Wright as director.[33] The release was pushed back several times including to July 17, 2015 and July 24, 2015,[34][35] and the studio eventually decided on October 9, 2015, in part to avoid box office competition from summer blockbusters such as Ant-Man and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.[36]

The new release date also gave the producers more time to work on editing and visual effects during post-production.[37] The film was first released in Australia, on September 25, 2015. It was then released in key markets two weeks later, including Germany, Russia, Korea, and Brazil, on October 8. That was followed by Mexico and Spain the next day.

The film opened in the United Kingdom on October 16, 2015, and France on October 21, 2015, followed by China on October 22, 2015, Japan on October 31, 2015, and Italy on November 12, 2015.[38]

Pan was originally planned for an IMAX release, as evident in early posters, trailers, and press,[39] but was cancelled and only received non-IMAX presentations.

Home media[edit]

Pan was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D on December 22, 2015, by Warner Home Video, 2+12 months after the film's release. Pan was one of the first Ultra HD Blu-rays, released on March 1, 2016.


Box office[edit]

Pan was financially unsuccessful.[40] It grossed $35.1 million in North America and $93.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $128.3 million. In comparison, its production budget was reported to be $150 million, and the total spent on marketing was estimated at $100–125 million.[6][41][42]

In the United States and Canada, the film grossed $5.2 million on its opening day. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $15.3 million, below the studio's $20 million projection, and finished third at the box office.[43] Several factors have been attributed to the financial failure of Pan. Forbes blogger Scott Mendelson attributed this to the absence of notable movie stars. Despite the presence of Jackman, "like any number of would-be big stars who are best known for a certain franchise, his opening weekend strength dips when he's not playing his trademark character." Outside of the X-Men films, his biggest openings are Van Helsing ($51 million) and the $27 million debuts of Real Steel and Les Misérables.[44] Variety described the departure of the film in tone and writings that made earlier Peter Pan stories and films a success, from Jackman's role as Blackbeard to the inclusion of contemporary pop songs from Nirvana and the Ramones which is peculiar for a children's film adaptation. "Without the Disney seal of approval, audiences are a bit wary of these fairy tale adaptations," said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. He added, "It veered off the Peter Pan path quite extensively and it was just too far left of center for a generation that grew up with Hook and sees that as the definitive account."[45] Warner Bros. declined to discuss Pan's box office results.[45][42]

Pan also struggled internationally, grossing $20.4 million on its opening weekend from 54 markets from over 11,000 screens. 3D comprised 85% of the opening gross.[41][46] The film was released in Australia on September 24, 2015, to take advantage of the prime September school holidays, where it grossed $1.5 million in its opening weekend.[38] Elsewhere, it opened in the U.K. with $4.1 million, and No. 1 in Mexico ($2.9 million), Brazil ($1.8 million), Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand and No. 2 in Russia and the CIS with $2 million (behind The Martian), Spain with $1.7 million (behind Regression), Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines.[46][47]

The Hollywood Reporter estimated that the film cost $275 million to produce and market worldwide—while The New York Times reported at least $250 million—and noted that the financial losses by Warner Bros. could finish anywhere between $130 to $150 million.[41][42] The site suggested that if the film overperformed in China—the world's second largest movie market—the losses could have been lower.[41] Opening in China on October 22, 2015, it failed to meet expectations.[48] Based on its production cost and factoring in the percentage of ticket sales kept by theater owners, analysts estimated that Pan needed to take in at least $400–500 million worldwide to break even.[42][48] The financial loss incurred by Pan puts it alongside Tomorrowland and Jupiter Ascending as one of the biggest box office failures of 2015.[45]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 27% based on 202 reviews and an average rating of 4.60/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Pan finds a few bursts of magic in its prequel treatment of classic characters, though not enough to offset the rushed plot and shrill, CGI-fueled action."[49] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 36 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[50] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it a 78% overall positive score.[45][43][51]

A.O. Scott of The New York Times called the action scenes "murky and chaotic" and stated, "The dominant emotion in Pan is the desperation of the filmmakers, who frantically try to pander to a young audience they don’t seem to respect, understand or trust."[52] The main characters lacked chemistry and depth according to Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter, who added that with the exception of Levi Miller's Pan, "the characters don't reasonably comport with one's pre-existing images of them".[53] He also called a good portion of the film "a seriously extended chase that possesses hefty CGI-propelled dynamics but absolutely no suspense and a very limited sense of fun".[53] Andrew Barker of Variety praised the film's technical achievements and action sequences but found it depressing overall: "Pan swaps puckish mischief and innocence for doses of Steampunk design, anachronistic music, a stock “chosen one” narrative and themes of child labor, warfare and unsustainable mineral mining exchanges".[54]

In a more positive review, Bill Zwecker of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three out of four stars, calling Levi Miller "a truly wonderful cinematic discovery" and praising the film's "thrilling action sequences, vivid costumes and well-executed special effects".[55]

While promoting the film Darkest Hour in 2017, Wright said he almost quit directing and considered retirement following the box office failure of Pan: "I had just made this $100 million flop. It was a dark, difficult time. I didn’t know if I was going to make any more movies, I didn’t know that I wanted to make movies anymore, to be honest."[56]


Year Award Category Nominee Result
2015 Jury Award Best 3D Film John Mathieson
Seamus McGarvey
2015 AACTA Award Best Visual Effects or Animation Chas Jarrett
Daniel Barrow
Mark Holt
Marc Varisco
Alana Newell
2016 Ivor Novello Award Best Original Film Score John Powell Nominated
2016 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Supporting Actress Rooney Mara Nominated
Amanda Seyfried Nominated
2016 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor (11 - 13) Levi Miller Nominated
2016 Young Entertainer Award Best Leading Young Actor- Feature Film Levi Miller Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McCarthy, Todd (September 19, 2015). "'Pan': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  2. ^ "World Premiere of 'Pan' in London - Photos". UPI.
  3. ^ "PAN [2D] (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Pan (2015)". British Film Institute. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Pamela McClintock (April 21, 2015). "Summer Box Office: What's Behind Warner Bros.' Risky Move to Release Nine Movies". The Hollywood Reporter. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Pan (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  7. ^ "Pan (2015)". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  8. ^ Pan – World Premiere - Official Warner Bros. UK. YouTube. September 21, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Levi Miller Tapped to Play Peter Pan in Warner Bros.' 'Pan' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. March 18, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Perlman, Jake (January 24, 2014). "Hugh Jackman to star in Joe Wright's Peter Pan movie". Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d "Amanda Seyfried Joins Warner Bros.' Peter Pan Adaptation". The Hollywood Reporter. April 24, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  12. ^ "Amanda Seyfried Boards Joe Wright's Pan". April 24, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  13. ^ Miller, Levi. "Pan Trailer". Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  14. ^ "Amanda Seyfried Joins Warner Bros.' Peter Pan Adaptation". The Hollywood Reporter. April 24, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  15. ^ Linds Foley. "Cara Delevingne hits the red carpet for the world premiere of PAN". Sugarscape.
  16. ^ "The Black List Announces 2013 Screenplays (Complete List)". Variety. December 16, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  17. ^ "Garrett Hedlund to play Captain Hook in Peter Pan movie? - Movies News - Digital Spy". January 23, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  18. ^ Mark Brown, arts correspondent (February 10, 2014). "Looking for lost boys: Hollywood bosses launch search for a Peter Pan | Film". The Guardian. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  19. ^ "omg! get a first look at cara delevingne in pan". Nylon. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  20. ^ "Rooney Mara to Play Tiger Lily in Warner Bros.' 'Pan'". Variety. March 12, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  21. ^ a b Jones, Jaleesa M. (February 23, 2016). "Rooney Mara regrets her 'whitewashed' role as Tiger Lily in 'Pan'". USA Today. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  22. ^ Perlman, Jake (March 13, 2014). "Rooney Mara as 'Peter Pan's' Tiger Lily: A look at the controversy". Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  23. ^ Pickett, Leah (March 18, 2014). "Why Aren't we more upset about racism against native americans". Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  24. ^ Garcia, Alma (2012). Contested Images: Women of Colour in Popular Culture. Lanham, Md.: AltaMira Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0759119635. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  25. ^ "Hollywood Wants To Cast Rooney Mara As A Native American, We Native Americans Want Hollywood To Give Us A Chance". March 19, 2014.
  26. ^ "Rooney Mara in Negotiations to Play Tiger Lily in Warner Bros.' 'Pan'". TheWrap. March 12, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  27. ^ Baker-Whitelaw, Gavia (November 25, 2014). "This new photo of Tiger Lily is terrible PR for 'Pan'". Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  28. ^ McDonald, Soraya Nadia. "Thousands Petition Warner Bros. over Rooney Mara's casting as Tiger Lily". Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  29. ^ a b ICTMN Staff. "Rooney Mara's Tiger Lily Could Not Be Less Native. That's A Problem". Archived from the original on October 9, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  30. ^ "On The Set For 5/5/14: Hugh Jackman Starrer 'Pan' Starts For Warner Bros., New Line Cinema's 'Crawlspace' Wraps". SSN Insider. May 5, 2014. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  31. ^ "Our Work: Pan (2015)". Indochina Productions. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  32. ^ Savas, Kaya (October 11, 2015). "Pan by John Powell (Review)". Film.Music.Media. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  33. ^ "Warner Bros. Sets Joe Wright's Pan release date for June 26, 2015". December 12, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  34. ^ "Warner Bros. Pictures Pushes Batman vs. Superman Back to 2016". January 17, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  35. ^ "Warner Bros. Pushes Back Joe Wright's Pan by a Week, Shifts Out of Ant-Man's Shadow". Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  36. ^ "Hugh Jackman's 'Pan' Moves Back from Summer to Fall". Variety. April 20, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  37. ^ "Hugh Jackman's 'Pan' Moves From Summer to Fall". The Hollywood Reporter. April 20, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  38. ^ a b Anita Busch (September 27, 2015). "'Hotel Transylvania 2,' 'The Intern' Bow Amidst Holdovers 'Everest' And 'Scorch Trials' – Intl Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  39. ^ "New Pan Featurette Goes in Depth on the Film's Colorful 3D Worlds -". September 15, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  40. ^ Brent Lang (February 10, 2016). "Time Warner Reports Mixed Quarterly Results Due to Movie Flops". Variety. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  41. ^ a b c d Pamela McClintock (October 12, 2015). "Warner Bros.' 'Pan' Could Lead to $150 Million Loss". The Hollywood Reporter. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  42. ^ a b c d Brooks Barnes (October 11, 2015). "'Pan' Bombs at the Box Office". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  43. ^ a b Anthony D'Alessandro (October 12, 2015). "'Martian' Still Has Fuel In Its Second Frame; 'Pan' Walks Plank; 'Steve Jobs' Popular In NY & LA – Monday Postmortem". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 14, 2020. Overall CinemaScore is a B+; with 55% of all females giving the film an A- and 45% males giving it a B+.
  44. ^ Scott Mendelson (October 12, 2015). "Box Office: 4 Reasons 'Pan' Bombed". Forbes. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  45. ^ a b c d Brent Lang (October 12, 2015). "Does 'Pan's' Box Office Bomb Spell the End for Origin Stories?". Variety. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved September 1, 2021. Those who saw it liked it better than critics, handing it a B+ CinemaScore rating
  46. ^ a b Nancy Tartaglione (October 12, 2015). "'The Martian' Crosses $118.5M Offshore; 'Pan' Serves Up Est. $20.4M – Intl B.O. Final". Deadline Hollywood. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  47. ^ Nancy Tartaglione (October 18, 2015). "'Ant-Man' Supersizes With $43.2M China Bow; 'Crimson Peak' Reaps $13.4M – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  48. ^ a b Patrick Brzeski (October 28, 2015). "Why China Is Panning 'Pan'". The Hollywood Reporter. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  49. ^ "Pan (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  50. ^ "Pan Reviews". Metacritic.
  51. ^ "Home - Cinemascore".
  52. ^ Scott, A.O. (October 8, 2015). "Review: 'Pan' Proposes Peter and Captain Hook's Origin Stories". The New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  53. ^ a b McCarthy, Todd (September 19, 2015). "'Pan': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  54. ^ Barker, Andrew (September 19, 2015). "Film Review: 'Pan'". Variety. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  55. ^ Zwecker, Bill (October 9, 2015). "From Boy to 'Pan': Jaunty Jackman, talented newcomer star in prequel pulsating with action". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  56. ^ Rodrigo Perez (November 22, 2017). "Joe Wright's 'Darkest Hour': Nearly Quitting Movies After 'Pan,' 'Dunkirk' Connections & More". Retrieved January 1, 2021.

External links[edit]