Top 5 Peter Pan spin-offs
#5 – The Clock Aquatic
Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, this compelling documentary explores the heartbreaking reality of life as a saltwater crocodile that ticks loudly and incessantly. Shunned by his peers and easily evaded by his erstwhile prey, ‘Chrono’ the crocodile roams the world’s seas alone and hungry, cursed by the clock which announces his presence like a leper’s clapper. His only hope is to find the similarly unfortunate 52-hertz whale, which some scientists believe to be deaf, and eke its meat out for the rest of his life – until then, there’s nothing to look forward to but algae and misery (and occasionally being mistaken for a submarine). Coincidentally, the SyFy channel is working on a film called NukeTickCroc, based on the assumptions that in order to work for so many years the clock Chrono swallowed must have had a nuclear battery, and that that battery will eventually leak.
#4 – Lost Boys: Japes in the Jungle
Seeking to rekindle the golden age of films about gangs of kids behaving unsafely, Japes in the Jungle was the ill-fated directorial debut of Kris Marshall, best known for starring in all those BT ads and being a massive sexual predator in Love Actually. Despite getting so close to cinemas that it was screened for press, this high-octane action comedy (which saw Toodles, Slightly and co. face off against a horde of vampires led by Scott Baio) was pulled from general release after a sharp-eyed Peter Bradshaw spotted an extra, a child of five, die in the background of a climactic scene. Marshall, who had paid off his ill-fated actor’s grieving parents in the hope of avoiding a scandal, is now awaiting trial.
#3 – Gentleman Starkey
Starring Sean Penn as one of only two pirates to survive Peter’s massacre of the crew of the Jolly Roger, Gentleman Starkey explores J.M. Barrie’s admittedly un-PC assertion that, following the events of Peter and Wendy, the former public-school usher becomes babysitter to the ‘Piccaninny Tribe’ of Red Indians. Although he initially struggles to reconcile his mixture of Edwardian and pirate sensibilities with the brutal reality of the savage lifestyle (take it up with Barrie, not us – he’s quite shockingly racist), Starkey finds a new lease of life among his new companions; and in the scene that earnt the film its R rating in the United States, finally introduces a now-adult Tiger Lily to his Long Tom.
#2 – The Avengers: PanTheon
You can see what the guys at Marvel were thinking, to be fair. “There are loads of weird gods in the comics, but they don’t really fit into the superhero movie thing, and we can’t keep making up futuristic Naboo-themed wonderlands like Asgard. AND Pan is actually a Marvel Olympian, AND we’re now owned by Disney, who own the rights to Peter Pan! Shove him in, ramp up the pipes and flying a bit, and that’s our excuse to launch a whole new franchise about Hercules or whoever.” In actual fact, PanTheon failed to capture the attention of either nerds or small children, forcing the cancellation of several planned films and a huge pay-or-play payout to Oprah Winfrey, who’d already been cast as Zeus. On a related note: we know he loves female characters, but Joss Whedon is starting to push it.
#1 – Youngboy
Since expanding his self-appointed role as Voice of Black Culture to Voice of All Culture that Isn’t Actually Produced by the KKK or the Jews, Spike Lee’s films have been getting ever more partisan. And none of his diatribes against his pasty oppressors hit harder than Youngboy, which charts Rufio’s violent and traumatic childhood – first as the son of a prostitute in a covertly sanctioned US Army brothel, then as the only non-white sailor aboard the Jolly Roger. Beaten down time and again by Captain Hook and his crew of crackers, Rufio studied swordplay by night until he was able to fight his way out of the hold and establish a multiracial Eden of tolerance in the shady forests of Neverland. (Spike Lee has never seen Hook, he’s only looked at pictures – it is VITAL that nobody tells him about the bit where the old white guy cruises back in, takes over and relegates Rufio to cannon fodder.)