Darling, Darling, Wendy

15 years after her trip to Neverland, Wendy Darling is determined to go back for good. But Peter Pan has other ideas.

Director’s Vision

In J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, the “boy who won’t grow up” stays in Neverland, while the Darling children return to London to become adults and raise their own families. It’s generally understood to be a happy ending, and perhaps for John and Michael it was. But this film asks, “What about Wendy?” As a director, I was fascinated by the notion of reimagining the story from a female perspective. In London circa 1904, women had not yet secured the right to vote. In fact, they had few rights and privileges, and few options besides marriage, a compact that put women under the strict control of their husbands. Having tasted the freedom of Neverland, this must have been a rude awakening for Wendy. Did she regret her decision? How did the limited role she found herself in upon her return affect her? How did she feel about her own daughter’s prospects growing up in London, with Neverland perhaps still a possibility? Katherine Sainte Marie’s dark script explores the potentially grave psychological consequences of a soul limited and repressed. As a modern-day woman, I found exploring Wendy’s complicated inner landscape both surprising and unsettling. It made me wonder how I might have fared in a similar circumstance. Hope it raises similar questions for you.