Kiwi talent agency on hunt for star of Disney film

The next Peter Pan in the latest adaptation of the much-loved movie character could be a Kiwi. Photo: Disney/Supplied via NZ Herald
The next Peter Pan in the latest adaptation of the much-loved movie character could be a Kiwi. Photo: Disney/Supplied via NZ Herald
Auckland talent agency Catch Casting is looking for a Kiwi boy who can play the Neverland mischief-maker and leader of the Lost Boys in Disney's upcoming live action remake of the classic, named Peter Pan and Wendy.

Skills in kapa haka and taiaha will be "a plus" for hopeful applications, with auditions open to boys of all ethnicities, aged 12–14.

The child would receive a daily rate for shooting with all expenses for the child and a parent covered by production.

Filming will take place in Canada from April to August this year, despite director David Lowery telling Stuff in October 2018 of plans for the remake to be filmed in New Zealand.

Lowery filmed his 2016 remake of the Disney family classic Pete's Dragon in New Zealand, with the impact of choosing New Zealand as the film location seen in the more than $87 million in qualifying spend it brought to the country, according to the New Zealand Film Commission. The film was good for local talent as well, with 31 New Zealanders employed as cast members and 810 recruited as crew.

The commission also said the film's distributor, Walt Disney Pictures, provided a skills and talent development programme, including mentoring for a team of Kiwi writers and also an associate role for an emerging New Zealand producer.

Other Disney films with roots in New Zealand include Mulan, which was directed by Kiwi Niki Caro, and starring Kiwi actors Yoson An and Xana Tang. Mulan is set to be released in March this year.

Lowery's other directing credits include the 2017 film A Ghost Story and The Old Man & the Gun, a 2018 drama starring Robert Redford. The director is currently filming medieval fantasy Green Knight.

Numerous adaptations and sequels to the 1953 Disney film, which was based on J M Barrie's 1904 play, have been made. The successful applicant for the Peter Pan role will be following in the footsteps of some big Hollywood names, including Robin Williams, who starred in Steven Spielberg's Hook, alongside an A-list line-up of Julia Roberts, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Smith and Bob Hoskins.

Based in Neverland, the magical land of pirates and mermaids, Lowery's film will see Peter go to London to get Wendy Darling and her siblings, and fly them to Neverland, while also going head-to-head with his old nemesis Captain Hook. The film will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Submissions for auditions with Catch Casting close January 31.

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