Earlier this year, you might remember hearing that Hook star Dante Basco was trying to Kickstart a short film that would act as a prequel to Steven Spielberg’s Peter Pan movie and give us the origins of his character, the Lost Boys leader known as Rufio.
Written and directed by Jonah Feingold, the project was said to focus on a 13-year old kid named Roofus whose mother is forced to put him into foster care. But Roofus may find an escape from the situation in a little place called Neverland.
Watch the Rufio short film Bangarang below and see what you think.
There are a little too many cheeky references for my taste, but there’s also some cleverness with how the story ties into Hook. Personally, I thought the implied, destined connection with Robin Williams’ character Peter Banning was a nice touch. However, the movie seems to held back by the world in which it exists, and the legacy of Peter Pan.
First of all, though Bangarang is set in modern day, there are elements of it that don’t feel like they jibe with that setting and feel more than a little contrived. Is a red mohawk really the best way to show that you’re tough in this day and age? Are there still really bullies on playgrounds wearing leather jackets? If that bully saw someone on a playground flying, would they just kneel down in front of them in submission? That’s rather weird.
Secondly, the short seems to imply that anyone who feels like an outcast but inexplicably believes in a greater destiny can have the power of Peter Pan. I suppose Hook sets that up with Rufio saying lines like, “I got Pan’s sword. I’m the Pan now!” But it was never revealed that Rufio had all of the powers of Peter Pan. So there are some presuppositions that must be made in order to accept this story.
As for how the original Rufio is still alive as an adult in 2017 after dying at the end of the blade of Captain Hook, there’s an explanation for that. Rufio may have died in Neverland back in 1991, but all that did was return him to his body on Earth. The filmmakers were inspired to follow that element of the story with a bit of dialogue from from Captain Hook from the movie where he says:
“You know you’re not really Peter Pan, don’t you? This is only a dream. When you wake up, you’ll just be Peter Banning, a cold, selfish man who drinks too much, who’s obsessed with success, and runs and hides from his wife and children!”
They interpreted that to mean that Neverland is essentially a dreamworld, almost like The Matrix, but instead of dying in the real world when you die in Neverland, you just return to your body as if no time has passed at all. So ever since Rufio died, he’s been growing up back on Earth and became a principal who helped guide a new outcast into becoming the new Rufio.
Like I said, there are bits of cleverness in this short, but ultimately, it feels like it doesn’t quite capture the magic that Hook still has for those who are nostalgic for the Steven Spielberg film. Still, there’s some solid production quality, and it’s always nice to see when filmmakers are able to make the projects they’re passionate about come to fruition.
Jonah Feingold is supposed to be working on another Peter Pan project, a feature film called Wendy with Pitch Perfect star Brittany Snow involved, but we haven’t heard anything about it recently. We’ll let you know if we hear anything new.
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Source: Slash Film