Reese Witherspoon is officially joining the Disney family. The Oscar winner is reportedly set to take the lead role in Tink, the studio’s upcoming live-action movie centered on the classic Peter Pan character Tinkerbell.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Witherspoon will both star in and produce Tink via her production banner, Pacific Standard. Victoria Strouse, who wrote the screenplay for Pixar’s highly anticipated Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory, is penning the script for the developing film. No director has signed on to the project yet.
So far, it’s unclear exactly how Tink will approach the story of the famed fairy sidekick, although the film will reportedly play with the timeline of the well-known Peter Pan tale. While specific details are being kept tightly under wraps for now, it seems moviegoers should expect to see a new side of Tinker Bell. Per THR, Tink is reportedly being developed in the same vein as Maleficent, the 2014 box office hit that starred Angelina Jolie and offered a darker perspective on Sleeping Beauty. Like Maleficent, Tink will aim to show the iconic character as we’ve never seen her before, revealing an untold side of Tinker Bell’s story.
Whether this means that audiences will get to see a darker version of the long-beloved fairy remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t be outside of the realm of possibility. As Disney fans know, Tinker Bell does have a temperamental side and is often portrayed as getting easily jealous over her love for Peter Pan.
Either way, it’s no surprise that the studio has chosen to expand her story. First introduced in the 1950s as a minor, nonspeaking character, Tinker Bell has since become one of Disney’s most important branding icons, popping up to sprinkle her fairy dust in the credits of many of the studio’s other properties. She has also appeared in countless television and film adaptations (Julia Roberts played her in 1991’s Hook) and is the centerpiece of the lucrative Disney Fairies media franchise.
Tink comes just as Disney has found huge success refurbishing their classic animated films into live-action hits. Maleficent was a huge commercial success last year, grossing $750 million at the worldwide box office. Meanwhile, this year’s Cinderella has grossed over $521 million worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing movie of the year, behind Avengers: Age of Utron and Furious 7.
Given those numbers, it’s not exactly a shocker that Disney, as well as other studios, are determined to continue the live-action remake trend. Tink is just the latest in a slew of children’s tale reimaginings headed our way. Disney is also currently working on a new version of Jungle Book and Beauty & the Beast, scheduled for 2016 and 2017, respectively. Warner Bros. also has a competing Jungle Book film underway for 2017, as well as the Peter Pan prequel Pan due out this fall.
We’ll have to stay tuned to see whether Tink will prove as successful as Maleficent and Cinderella. In the meantime, Witherspoon remains busier than ever. Her latest film, the buddy comedy Hot Pursuit, hit theaters earlier this month. She is also set to reteam with director Alexander Payne for the social satire Downsizing and will soon join with Nicole Kidman to produce and co-star in a miniseries adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s bestselling novel Big Little Lies for HBO. Witherspoon will also produce and potentially star in the big screen version of the book Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield. Most recently, she signed on to play an astronaut in the upcoming drama, Pale Blue Dot.