Tiger Lily is portrayed by Alyssa Wapanatâhk an actress from the Bigstone Cree Nation. High-profile actor Jude Law is portraying Captain Hook in the film premiering on Disney plus
The Disney+ original movie, “Peter Pan & Wendy,” a live-action reimagining of the 1953 animated classic “Peter Pan” will begin streaming in 2023, only on Disney+. The film was directed by David Lowery (“The Green Knight,” “Pete’s Dragon”)
The film features a fictional, yet culturally respectful character by the name of Tiger Lily. The character is portrayed by Alyssa Wapanatâhk, an actress from the Bigstone Cree Nation.
(Details below provided courtesy of Disney)
The film introduces Wendy Darling, a young girl looking to avoid school away from home, and who meets Peter Pan, a boy who refuses to grow up. Alongside her brothers and a tiny fairy, Tinker Bell, she travels with Peter to the magical world of Neverland. There, she encounters an evil pirate captain, Captain Hook, and embarks on a thrilling and dangerous adventure that will change her life forever.
Watch the trailer
Indigenous respect for Tiger Lily
According to Disney, “Authentically and respectfully representing Indigenous communities was a top priority for the Peter Pan & Wendy filmmakers. Two of the film’s Native consultants were Dawn Jackson (Saginaw Chippewa) and Dr. Kevin Lewis ( Minisitkwan Lake Cree Nation) who contributed from the development stage all the way through to principal photography and post-production.
Alyssa Wapanatâhk, who hails from the Bigstone Cree Nation and portrays Tiger Lily, also worked with the consultants and with the encouragement of director David Lowery to offer her own inspiration for the character based on her Cree heritage.
Disney also noted that though the character Tiger Lily does reflect influence from Alyssa Wapanatâhk’s Cree background, “Tiger Lily and the Neverland tribe are still intended to be the Indigenous people of Neverland, not an actual Cree community.”
In the film, Dr. Kevin Lewis and members of the Cree community consulted on the Indigenous styles of clothing, hairstyles, tribal markings, props and set designs to ensure “intentionality and authenticity,” including details such as authentic quill work in Tiger Lily’s saddle and canoes created by Cree artisans. Tiger Lily also speaks both English and a dialect of Cree in the film.
Cast and production
The film stars Jude Law (“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore”), Alexander Molony (“The Reluctant Landlord”), Ever Anderson (“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”), Yara Shahidi (“Grown-ish”), Alyssa Wapanatâhk, Joshua Pickering (“A Discovery of Witches”), Jacobi Jupe, Molly Parker (“House of Cards”), Alan Tudyk (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”), and Jim Gaffigan (“The Jim Gaffigan Show”).
“Peter Pan and Wendy” is directed by David Lowery and written by David Lowery & Toby Halbrooks (“The Green Knight”) based on the novel and play by J. M. Barrie. The producer is Jim Whitaker (“Pete’s Dragon”), with Adam Borba (“A Wrinkle in Time”), Thomas M. Hammell (“Thor: Ragnarok”), and Toby Halbrooks serving as executive producers.
Notes from the director
Director/co-writer David Lowery says of the film, “In making ‘Peter Pan & Wendy,’ we set out to craft a film that honors both the original J.M. Barrie text and Walt Disney’s animated adaptation; we wanted to invigorate our retelling with emotional sincerity, an open heart, and a grand yearning for adventure. Hundreds of incredible artists spent many years bringing this film to the screen; I’m excited for audiences to see their work, to go on this ride, and to rediscover an evergreen tale from a new perspective.”
Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, along with The Simpsons and much more. In select international markets, it also includes the general entertainment content brand, Star. The flagship direct-to-consumer streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, Disney+ offers an ever-growing collection of exclusive originals, including feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series, and short-form content. With unprecedented access to Disney’s long history of incredible film and television entertainment, Disney+ is also the exclusive streaming home for the newest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as a standalone streaming service, as part of the Disney Bundle in the U.S. that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, or as part of Combo+ in Latin America with Star+, the standalone general entertainment and sports streaming service in the region. For more, visit disneyplus.com, or find the Disney+ app on most mobile and connected TV devices.
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Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk, is the founder and editor of Native Viewpoint. With over 16 years of experience as a Native journalist and former member of the White House Press Pool. Follow Vincent on Twitter at @VinceSchilling or on any other of his social media accounts by clicking on any of the icons below.
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