Disney’s been on a heavy trend of revisiting its animated classics in the form of live-action remakes, but the most recent addition is actually the resurrection of a project that’s been in development for years. In 2010, Elizabeth Banks became attached to star in Tink, a live-action movie that would follow Peter Pan character Tinkerbell and aimed to “play with the mischievous nature” of the fairy. The project obviously has yet to come to fruition, but in 2012 Banks still sounded optimistic, saying they had a great script and were continuing development.
Since that time, Disney has put into development/production/release the live-action films Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Mulan, Winnie the Pooh, Pinnocchio, and a twist on Jack and the Beanstalk. Now, it appears, there’s new life in Tink, although Banks doesn’t appear to be involved anymore. THR reports that Reese Witherspoon has come aboard to produce and star in the film, setting Victoria Strouse—co-writer of Pixar’s upcoming Finding Dory—to pen the script.
This latest take on Tinkerbell is said to “play with the idea and timeline of the well-known Peter Pan narrative,” and will take the angle of telling “the story you don’t know” a la Maleficent. Moreover, Tink is being developed with a more modest mid-range budget in mind, as opposed to Maleficent’s $180 million and Cinderella’s $95 million.
While I do think Disney’s going a bit overkill with its string of live-action adaptations (we get it, you want a Marvel-style universe), the prospect of a Tinkerbell movie with Witherspoon is actually kind of neat. This would be the perfect opportunity to let a female filmmaker take charge as director, and Cinderella turned out to be kind of excellent, so quality-wise Disney’s not doing too terribly.
Witherspoon has been on a nice producing streak as of late. She’s responsible for getting Gone Girl off the ground and producing that film, and she also produced and starred in last year’s severely underrated drama Wild. Her self-stated goal is to develop more female-driven projects, and a Tinkerbell movie that doesn’t talk down to kids and also provides a solid role model for young children is certainly a worthwhile venture.