Ask anyone to name a popular animated Disney villain, and you’ll probably hear Captain Hook. What makes this villain cool? First of all, he’s a pirate. You can’t go wrong with pirates as villains. They always make the most fun villains, and this one is at the top of the list. While he was often portrayed as very comedic and even cowardly, he is arguably one of the more ruthless Disney villains. In his very first scenes, he actually shot one of his henchmen for singing too loud. Of course, you don’t see the underlying get shot, but you hear the shot and hear his body fall into the water. This is clearly one villain you don’t want to mess with.
But as we all know already, Captain Hook’s archenemy is a young man who can fly. And if we’re being fair, he actually has an understandable reason for hating him. It’s all implied in the character’s name. The famous Peter Pan cut off the pirate’s left hand and fed it to a hungry crocodile. And ever since that crocodile got a taste of that pirate, he has been very anxious to feed on the rest of him. As a result, Captain Hook was given his iconic name, and the crocodile became his greatest fear. It also cemented the intense rivalry between him and Peter Pan.
The Captain Hook character originated in J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. Even before he lost his hand, his full name was Captain James Hook. In just about all adaptations, the character’s main motivation is seeking revenge against Peter Pan. One of the very few movie adaptations where we didn’t see the vengeful Hook was in the 2015 Pan film. This was meant to be a prequel where we saw a younger version of James Hook, only this version was an ally to a very young Peter Pan and had no history of piracy. Nothing about that version worked, but then again, that whole movie didn’t work.
However, the idea of seeing the backstory of Captain James Hook is intriguing. The Pan movie failed to give us an interesting look at his origins, but there is room for improvement. For starters, Disney is giving us another movie revolving around Peter Pan and the Wendy character. The actual movie, titled Peter Pan & Wendy, is set to be released sometime next year. What really got everyone excited was the casting of Jude Law to play Captain Hook. That alone should enhance our excitement for this new Peter Pan movie, and if it does do well, it may open the door to some very interesting possibilities.
Wouldn’t it be very interesting to see Captain Hook getting his own spin-off series? And why not get Jude Law to star in it? We can see a younger version of Law playing the ambitious and suave pirate without the long wig and the fancy facial hair. Aside from the forgettable version we saw in Pan, the 2005 novel Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth gave a good backstory for the character. A life of ambition and action would eventually lead him to discover a magical island, a.k.a. Neverland.
The novel could serve as a guideline for creating a new backstory for a Captain Hook spin-off series. Before he was the captain of his own crew, he had to of started somewhere in the world of piracy. We saw a version of this in Pan, but he was more of a pioneer. The main antagonist of that movie was another pirate, the infamous Blackbeard. Part of the origins of Captain Hook was that he was a protege of Blackbeard’s before he became the captain of his own crew. Even before his life as a pirate, part of his origins was that he was considered an eccentric outcast who struggled to live amongst his more “gentlemen-like” peers.
The 2005 novel and the play explain that he once attended Eton College. Despite being involved in a prestigious society, he actually took pride in being the standout underclassman. His outcast reputation made him eccentric and a bit of a gentleman mixed with a scoundrel. This is something that can shape him into becoming the notorious pirate we all know him, as if a spin-off series does happen. Out of all the classic Disney villains, Captain Hook is the one who has a backstory worth telling. The chances of it actually happening all depends on the success of the Peter Pan & Wendy movie. If it does well and Jude Law’s performance is well received, then we could be looking at a Captain Hook spin-off.
What are your thoughts, Disney fans? Does the idea of a Captain Hook spin-off interest you?
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