Author Topic: My 1989 PP screenplay  (Read 1323 times)

andrew

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
My 1989 PP screenplay
« on: April 14, 2023, 07:56:57 PM »
While awaiting Disney's new offering of PP, I've just posted my own 1989 shot at bringing PP to the silver screen, originally commissioned by Francis Coppola. Oy veh ...

For some reason this site won't allow uploads bigger than 16MB, hence the 2-parter, with time for popcorn refills in the intermission.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2023, 09:14:58 PM by andrew »

Dani1923

  • Member
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 303
    • View Profile
Re: My 1989 PP screenplay
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2023, 11:54:23 PM »
Thank you so much Andrew for posting this! I can’t wait to read it!

Dani1923

  • Member
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 303
    • View Profile
Re: My 1989 PP screenplay
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2023, 12:52:52 AM »
Andrew,

I read the script, and it was pretty good, but I’m going to be honest here, it definitely would need improvements!
I know this script is a first draft, and you’ll probably never write another because this movie will probably never be made, but I still wrote notes down while I was reading the script and I wanted to share my thoughts and things I personally would change based on my notes here:

I love the way you started the film with Barrie seeing David in the coffin then the interaction with his mother. I’m glad you tried to bring that scene back after it wasn’t included in The Lost Boys. But I think since this movie is called Peter Pan, we should see more glimpses of Peter in this scene. You did have his shadow go through at the end of the scene with Barrie and his mother, but I think we should also see it sooner flying across David’s face as he lays in the coffin. It should feel like Peter will haunt Barrie from this point forward. Which was kind of true in a way.

I think the Kensington Gardens scene was way too much like The Lost Boys, which you probably would have changed. I assume you wrote that scene so much like TLB because it was familiar to you. Basically, it was a placeholder until you thought of a better way to start the movie. And since this script is only a first draft, that’s completely understandable why you would write a “placeholder” scene!

Personally, I think the scene should just be Barrie at Kensington Gardens alone. I don’t think he should interact with Darling family at all. Maybe he should just see them in the park and at their house as if he’s just imagining them in his head? Like they are the first inkling of the story before he even thinks up Peter? I have no idea!

I know you were trying to flow Barrie’s life with the story of Peter Pan, but, to me, it felt like the stories of Peter and Barrie seemed to be fighting with one another at times in first act before the children go to Neverland, and the Peter Pan story pretty much took over almost completely after the first act.

Honestly, I’m not really sure what your purpose while writing this was to have Barrie in the story, but my interpretation was that this movie was going to be about how the tragedy of David’s death and how he had to live in David’s shadow (what Peter’s shadow represents?) in the eyes of his mother and how he’ll never be her favorite son was a part of the story of Peter Pan. And Peter does say something like that during the final battle when he says, “I’m the one you could never be.”, so I think that’s what you were going for. Please let me know if I’m wrong, but that’s what I got out of it and most of what I’m about to say is going to reflect that interpretation.
I may have misread it, but I think David is supposed to be Peter in this movie, like the actor who was going to play David was going to play Peter, and it’s that’s true, that’s brilliant! If it’s not, again, please let me know! I also saw Peter being David as Barrie imagining Peter as David’s ghost and that David misses his little brother and mother, so that’s why Peter sees Wendy as Margaret Ogilvy.

With all that being said, based on that interpretation, I think the point of David’s death and Barrie’s feelings about his mother should have been more prominent in the Peter Pan story, even if that meant changing things that happened in the narrative. Of course, I don’t know how you yourself would have done this, and I didn’t write a detailed way of how you could do that, but here are bullet points about how you could have sprinkled that stuff here and there throughout the story:

* Barrie as Hook should still have a picture of David on his desk. Both Barrie and Hook should have a picture of Barrie’s mother.
* Peter/David’s shadow passes by Barrie as he first writes down his idea of Peter Pan. Barrie looks up from writing as if he saw it.
* Barrie/Hook should see his mother’s face in Wendy like Peter did earlier, and that’s why Hook wants Wendy to be his mother.
* The Neverbird should be there as an example of motherhood and Barrie/Hook should also think of his mother again in that scene.
* Hook/Barrie could hear or even see his mother in his dreams.
* Peter/David cries for his mother in his sleep? Wendy comforts him. Maybe he could also say “Jimmie!”? He cries “Mother!” with Wendy, but when Hook/Barrie comes to poison him, he says “Jimmie!”. 
* During his soliloquy, Hook/Barrie could have been thinking of his boyhood in Kirriemuir and David and hearing David laughing before shooing the thoughts away.
* “I’m the one you could never be.” Barrie thinks of David and his mother.
* During Hook and Pan battle, there could have been more flashbacks of David. Maybe Barrie calling Peter “David” at one point when he’s about to jump off the plank, and Peter is very confused, but maybe it seems familiar…
* Final shot at the end of the movie we see the photograph of David on Barrie’s desk?

Here are the bullet pointed thoughts that I have that don’t involve that interpretation:

* Love the different action type things inserted in the Peter Pan story like Peter saving Wendy, John, and Michael when they fall into a chasm in Neverland and the seal mermaid attack scene.
* Love that the weather is different in different places in Neverland. Snow in one place, tropical on the other.
* Definitely wish I could have seen this version of Neverland! Seems so beautiful!
* Cool that there are different kinds of mermaids!
* I thought it was weird that Hook didn’t injure Peter, neither physically nor emotionally, making Peter have no reason to stay on Marooner’s Rock.
* Peter’s reaction to Tinker Bell dying is heartbreaking!
* On the Jolly Roger, Hook/Barrie wiggles his eyebrows at the children and they laugh, one of them asks, “How do you do that?” Maybe John?
* The whole final ship sequence taking place in the snow was done in a very creative way!
* I admire you for not being afraid to show scary and violent moments and blood (in different colors no less!) in this!
* Loved the visual motif of people looking through bars. Being barred from what they want most.

The ending could have been a lot stronger! It felt very abrupt and Barrie only says one line! Again, not sure how you would do this and I don’t have any ideas at the moment of how it could be better, except Barrie needs to be more prominent!
Maybe it ends with Peter/David visiting Barrie as he’s writing in his office, and Peter momentarily becomes just David and recognizes Barrie and they talk for a little bit and then David turns back into Peter and flies away? Maybe we could see a shot of Kensington Gardens one last time?

Also I think the title might need to be changed. I know it’s the story of Peter Pan, but since it’s not a direct adaptation, and Barrie and a part of his life story is in the movie, maybe Barrie’s name should be in the title somehow? Like “Barrie and Peter” (that’s probably a horrible example!), or something like that. But then again, the GOSH Peter Pan movie was called Peter and Wendy and half of that movie takes place at Great Ormond Street Hospital, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about! Which is very likely!

Overall, like I said, the movie was pretty good, and definitely had the potential to be great! Sadly, we will never see your version of Peter Pan on the big screen! Although, just thinking realistically, no major Hollywood studio would want a version of Peter Pan that you or I or anyone else on this forum would want to see! Hollywood sees Peter Pan as a “kids movie”, meaning they wouldn’t want a lot of violence and deep and subtle messages. They want slapstick and romance and goofy shenanigans. Those aren’t bad things in and of themselves, but they don’t belong in a Peter Pan movie! At least not in a Peter Pan movie any of us would want to see!
But I’m glad you at least got to write a script, and now we can all read it and visualize in our heads what might have been!

Oh, and also while I was reading the script, I thought to myself, “I should make a trailer for this!” And after I read the script I did! I used the iMovie app on my phone and I used only stock images and screenshots from The Lost Boys.
It’s very crudely made but if you would like to see it, I’ll gladly email it to you since we can’t upload videos on the forum!

andrew

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: My 1989 PP screenplay
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2023, 08:32:30 PM »
Many thanks for your in-depth critical analysis Dani. Maybe I should have written a disclaimer to the effect that I’ve not re-read my PP script since I wrote it, nor did I before posting it – probably a mistake.
I’m sure most of what you say is true – but then again, maybe not. I should point out that back in the 1970s, TV programmes were here today and gone tomorrow, i.e. they had no more of a shelf life than most movies. So when I wrote my PP script, and at Coppola’s urging, I did indeed include sequences more or less lifted from the Lost Boys of 10 years earlier, which had not even been screened in the USA.
I’m sure if I re-read my PP script now I would change a good deal – which is true of the other 30/40 odd scripts sitting on a high shelf, which I am gradually dusting down and scanning for a screenplay website, but without re-reading any of them, life being rather too short.
Why not try writing your own version?

Dani1923

  • Member
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 303
    • View Profile
Re: My 1989 PP screenplay
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2023, 03:31:58 PM »
Thank you for your reply Andrew!
And thank you for shedding light on some things! My analysis probably read like gobbledygook to you since you haven’t read the script in over 30 years and it was very kind of you to read it despite that!
That’s exciting that you’re making a screenplay website! I will definitely check it out when it launches!
My ambition is to become a playwright and theatre director one day, so I would love to write my own version of Peter Pan and direct Barrie’s version of the play one of these days!