“The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy” is a classic fairytale with a modern twist.
Everyone is familiar with the story of Peter Pan—a young boy who lives on a magical island and refuses to grow up—but a new web series is giving the classic tale a modern update. “The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy” puts J.M. Barrie’s classic characters in a number of modern-day situations and aims to represent a variety of coming-of-age experiences.
“Growing up is different for everybody,” said Kyle Walters, co-creator and star of the show. “We’re trying to touch as many versions of that, creating various characters so that hopefully everyone can relate an aspect of the show to their own journey.”
As part of this effort, the show will introduce its first gay character, Smee, during the upcoming second season. Smee will join Peter, a twenty-something comic book artist, and his best friend Wendy, an ambitious advice vlogger, in the fictional small town of Neverland, Ohio.
“Each character in our show represents a unique path and/or struggle with growing up. Smee will be no different!” said Walters. “He will be dealing with finding himself in the world as a gay man while also being an assistant to a big-time businessman, Hook.”
However, according to the show’s co-creator and writer Shawn deLoache, Smee’s sexuality won’t be the character’s main plot point. “Smee will be a strong, intelligent, layered character who just happens to be gay,” said deLoache. “Basically, we studied who Smee was in the books, who he really was at his heart … and dropped it into our world to see who he would become.”
The show’s creators were intent on creating a diverse set of characters from the beginning, but they wanted the storylines to develop organically. “We all naturally knew we were going to make the cast as diverse at possible,” said the show’s producer, Emmy-winning Jenni Powell. “It was just a matter of time for when it fit into the story we are telling. Now is that time and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Smee isn’t the only new character who will be introduced in the upcoming season. Jim Beaver, of the CW’s “Supernatural,” will join the cast as Mr. Darling, the father of the Darling children. Smee’s boss, Hook (still in the casting process), will be also introduced. And—spoiler alert!—according to Powell, “Smee may not be the only LGBT representation on the show.”
Excited to meet these new characters? You’ll have to wait awhile—season two is still in pre-production. The good news? You can help make season two a reality (and score an HD download of the first season) by donating to the show’s IndieGogo campaign.
If you’re not yet acquainted with the citizens of Neverland, Ohio, check out the first season of “The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy” on YouTube. You’re sure to connect with the unique array of characters, no matter your identity.
“There is an innocence and joy in Peter Pan that transcends all genders, ethnicities and identities,” said Powell. “Everyone has struggled with the transition of growing up. In fact, it’s that process that helps one find their identity—whatever it might be.”