Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi is going to take on a magical role for Disney, and it sounds like the perfect fit. On Friday, Sept. 25, Deadline revealed Yara Shahidi will play Tinker Bell in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation Peter Pan and Wendy. The casting move marks the first time a Black actor has filled the little green shoes on the big screen.
The project has an impressive cast of players signed on, including 20-year old Shahidi. The live-action flick, which has David Lowery set to direct and Jim Whitaker producing, will feature Shahidi as Tinker Bell, Jude Law as Captain Hook, Alexander Molony as Peter Pan, and Ever Anderson as Wendy. As Disney works to add more diversity to its classic remakes, Shahidi will don the top bun and tiny green dress. Previous adaptations of Peter Pan have featured actors like Julia Roberts in 1991’s Hook and Ludivine Sagnier in 2003’s Peter Pan.
While you may be hoping the project is set to head to Disney+ like the recent Mulan, sources reported it is being planned as a theatrical release. The classic story, based on the novel by J.M. Barrie, is most remembered for Disney’s 1953 animated version. Despite many attempts to create a live-action version of the magical tale, the most popular one yet is likely Steven Spielberg’s Hook.
Shahidi’s casting echoes the announcement that Disney’s The Little Mermaid will star Halle Bailey as Ariel, a live-action flick that will include a mix of actors and some animation and voice-acting for the sea creatures. Both Shahidi and Bailey star in Grown-ish, the spinoff series for ABC’s Black-ish. Black-ish marked Shahidi’s breakout role as Zoey, which soon became a fan-favorite. Shahidi also recently starred in the 2019 film The Sun Is Also a Star.
The Grown-ish actor revealed her excitement about starring as Tinker Bell on Instagram on Friday, Sept. 25, with a picture of some fan character art. “Thank you for all of the love. It, truly, means so much to me.️ I’m excited for this next adventure,” she wrote. Before that post, she also uploaded a picture of her wearing a green ensemble, writing, “lettssssgooooo #Tinkerbell,” alongside some fairy emojis.
As of publication, there is no scheduled release date due to the many coronavirus pandemic production delays. But a Disney spokesperson told Deadline in March that Disney would “continue to assess the situation and restart as soon as feasible,” and since other productions have resumed filming, Peter Pan and Wendy may be well underway soon.
Although fans will have to wait a while for the flick to fly into theaters, the magical story sounds like it will definitely be worth the wait.