Disney appears fully committed to mounting live-action updates of their classic animated feature collection. It’s a business model that makes sense too—Tim Burton’s 2010 reboot of Alice in Wonderland ushered in the craze after that movie earned over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office and took home two Academy Awards. Since then, the Mouse House has given the live-action treatment to Maleficent, a different take on Sleeping Beauty‘s iconic villain starring Angelina Jolie, and Cinderella, which opened this past spring—both films were blockbusters. Now, it appears that Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon is in talks to headline Tink, a live-action film centered around iconic Peter Pan fairy Tinker Bell.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, but it seems that Tink might be made in the vein of Maleficent as a sort of “real story” behind the iconic character. Victoria Strouse, screenwriter of Pixar’s upcoming Finding Dory, is being brought aboard to write the script and Witherspoon will also produce the project, which is being conceived as a more modestly budgeted film, as opposed to recent live-action Disney reboots. As of now, no one has been mentioned as a possible director and there is not yet a timetable as to when Tink might go to production or when it will be headed to theaters.
Tinker Bell originated as a supporting character in J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. Initially the character was represented on stage by a darting light and a collar of bells. The role was never envisioned to be played by a real person, a characteristic that remains true in the musical version of Peter Pan. The animated film version of Peter Pan (which Disney originally released in 1953) updated the character to have human characteristics, but no dialogue. Still, Tinker Bell has become an invaluable fixture of the Disney brand. If Witherspoon appears in Tink, she wouldn’t be the first A-list actor to play Tinker Bell—Julia Roberts played the part in Steven Spielberg’s 1991 iteration Hook.
Tink would follow a steady stream of live-action reboots already underway at Disney. A reboot of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson (The Bling Ring) is already in production and updates of Winnie the Pooh and Dumbo are in various stages of development.
This is a productive period for Witherspoon. The actress, who won an Oscar for playing June Carter in the 2005 musical biopic Walk the Line, recently earned an Academy Award nomination for her starring role in last year’s Wild and can currently be seen in the comedy Hot Pursuit opposite Sofia Vergara.