Actress Yara Shahidi, best known for her role as Zoey Johnson in Grown-ish and Black-ish, is set to play Tinker Bell in the upcoming live-action version. This casting decision is huge news because it is the first ever time a woman of colour has played the iconic fairy role on the big screen. The story of Peter Pan has been told many times, with Julia Roberts playing Tinker Bell in the 1991 film Hook and Ludivine Sagnier later playing her in the 2003 film Peter Pan. Shahidi shared the news herself with an Instagram post on September 26 along with fan-art of her as Tinker Bell.
Shahidi will be joined in Peter Pan and Wendy by Alexander Molony as Peter Pan, Ever Anderson as Wendy and Jude Law and Captain Hook. The project will be directed by David Lowery who previously directed the live-action remake of Pete’s Dragon. Unfortunately for Yara Shahidi fans, Disney has not announced when the film will be released. However, it is expected to be released in theatres rather than the Disney Plus streaming platform.
This hopefully comes as a sign that Disney is moving towards including more diversity in their films. Last year it was announced that black actress Halle Bailey would be starring as Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. During the 2020 Emmy Awards Shahidi spoke on the importance of inclusivity and representation in TV.