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Disney's film productions are still largely shut down but that's not stopping the studio from moving forward on the next batch of live-action remakes of its animated classics. We know that we're getting a new Little Mermaid down the road, and recently it was confirmed that the next take on Peter Pan, Disney's Peter Pan & Wendy, was also moving forward when it was revealed that Jude Law has taken the role of Captain Hook.
While Jude Law seems like a solid choice for the part of Captain Hook, the word on the street is that other actors were considered for the part, and even offered the role. One report claims that the first person given the chance to play Hook was somebody who was already on board another Disney remake, Aladdin's Genie, Will Smith.
Variety's Justin Kroll, says that Will Smith was the first person offered the role of Captain Hook, though he ultimately passed on the part. While there's no confirmation that this is true, there's a lot of reason to believe that it probably is. Will Smith's name was first rumored connected to Disney in relation to a role in the Dumbo live-action remake before it was announced he would become the Genie in Aladdin. Clearly, Disney had a lot of interest in Smith and he's a huge star, so why wouldn't Disney want to get him for as many roles as possible?
It's unclear what the ultimate reason was for Will Smith turning down Captain Hook. He may have simply not loved the role, or he may have decided that one Disney live-action remake is enough for him, especially considering that all indications are we'll be getting a sequel to Aladdin at some point in the future, so Smith is already going to be remaining close to Disney for the foreseeable future.
Will Smith isn't the only name that's being rumored as one that turned down the part of Captain Hook. It's also being said that Adam Driver was offered the role but also decided to say no.
Still, even if Jude Law wasn't the first choice, it doesn't mean he won't be the best choice. There's no denying his talents and Law is certainly capable of playing the villain with a touch of ruthlessness or charm, or both, depending on what this version of Captain Hook will be.
Still, the deck is stacked against him and Peter Pan & Wendy we have yet to see a live-action Peter Pan movie really catch on with audiences. While Steven Spielberg's Hook has become popular today, it wasn't when it was released, and the last two attempts at a live-action Peter Pan met with similar fates.
The definitive film Peter Pan is still the Disney animated version. Perhaps that will be the difference that will allow this live-action version to succeed where others have failed.