Unlike other grand-scale epics that have chased halfway around the world in search of ideal locations, Hook, Steven Spielberg’s retelling of Peter Pan, will be a throwback to old-fashioned filmmaking: Its action will take place entirely on the Columbia Pictures backlot. But this Pan is no small-scale set piece — it comes with a grown-up budget and high-priced stars. In Hook, Tinkerbell, played by Julia Roberts, guides an aging, yuppified Peter (Robin Williams), back to Never-Never Land to rescue his children, who have been kidnapped by the villainous Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). Peter Pan was never supposed to age, but maybe he took a close look at the film’s budget. Production costs have been estimated at $42 million, and Tri-Star Pictures may need to gross as much as $125 million to turn a profit.
Sources say much of the film’s budget will go for lavish sets and special effects. An entire soundstage will be flooded to create a pirate cove as home port for the rotten Captain’s enormous galleon. The other main set under construction is the tree house in which Peter’s ”lost children” live. To help , out production designer Norman Garwood (Brazil), Englishman John Napier, who created the look of such stage spectacles as The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby and Cats, will work his magic as ”artistic conceptual designer.”