10 things that you (probably) didn't know about Hook

  • 10 things that you (probably) didn't know about Hook

Can you believe that Steven Spielberg's wonderful retelling of the Peter Pan legend was released in the UK 24 years ago?

To celebrate this important anniversary, here are 10 things, including David Bowie, Michael Jackson and Star Wars, that you might not have known about the epic tale.

1. Hook was originally planned to be a musical starring Michael Jackson

Steven Spielberg originally thought up the idea in 1983 as a musical for Michael Jackson (which would have been really weird).

The King of Pop was interested in playing Peter Pan and contributing to its soundtrack, but was not interested in Spielberg's vision of an adult Peter Pan who had forgotten about his past.

Unable to find a common ground, Spielberg put it on hold to focus on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and started working on it again in 1991. 

2. Julia Roberts was a misery to work with

The crew gave Julia Roberts the nickname 'Tinkerhell' because she was so difficult to work with.

Going through some troubling personal times, an article described her as a "curious presence" on the set, "sometimes sombre, sometimes at the near edge of hysteria".

To portray the tiny fairy, Roberts' worked alone on a green screen stage - which meant that every crewman had to erratic behaviour.

During a bad few days, an irate Roberts screamed: "Who do I have to f*ck to get a glass of water around here?!"

The next morning, everyone on the crew was waiting outside her dressing room door each holdng a glass of water.

3. Steven Spielberg wasn't happy with how the film ended up

Steven Spielberg had such a trying time while making Hook that he doesn't look back fondly on the finished film.

The iconic director had to deal with Julia Roberts' erratic behaviour, a rebellious group of young actors playing the Lost Boys and struggles to find an economical method to film the complex Peter Pan flight sequences all contributed to him growing to hate Hook.

In a recent radio interview though, he explained: “I wanna see Hook again because I so don’t like that movie, and I’m hoping someday I’ll see it again and perhaps like some of it.”

4. The film ran wildly over schedule and over budget

The film originally had a shooting schedule of 76 days and a budget of $48 million, but production took longer than expected.

Thus, the shooting schedule expanded to 116 days (40 days over the original), and the budget rose from to $60 million then again to $80 million.

Steven Spielberg blames himself for this, saying, "I began to work at a slower pace than I usually do."

5. Tim from Jurassic Park was in contention for the role of Peter's son

Joseph Mazzello was considered to play Jack, Peter's son, and while Steven Spielberg didn't cast him, the director was still impressed with his audition and said he would try to cast him in a future project. 

Mazzello recalls, "Steven had me screen-test with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman for Hook.

"I was just too young for the role. And because of that, Steven came up to me and said, 'Don't worry about it, Joey. I'm going to get you in a movie this summer.'"

That movie turned out to be Jurassic Park

6. The Star Wars connecton

When Peter is whisked off to Neverland by Tinkerbell, they pass a kissing couple of who begin to float when fairy dust lands on them, the couple are actually played by George Lucas and Carrie Fisher.

Fisher also did some uncredited rewrites on the final draft of the screenplay

7. Julia Roberts wanted to appear as big as Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams in the poster

Continuing her diva demands after production had finished, Julia Roberts wanted to be human-sized on the poster.

Famed film poster artist Drew Struzan revealed: "Julia Roberts wanted to be as big as Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams on the poster. I probably did fifty drawings, just trying to get her approval.

"I painted her in and out of the finished piece eight times. Ultimately, Tinker Bell stayed small, because that's the way she's gotta be!"

8. Robin Williams had to shave his chest and arms to play Peter

The notoriously hairy Robin Williams' thick body hair didn’t quite suit the image of Peter Pan so the comedian was forced rid himself of it for the role.

9. Captain James Hook could have been played by David Bowie

Having made the crossover from legendary musician to accomplished actor, David Bowie was approached to play Captain Hook.

The singer turned it down and the role went to Dustin Hoffman.

10. A-list cameos

Audiences noticed that the police inspector who was called when Peter and his children disappeared was loved/despised musician Phil Collins, but another cameo went completely unnoticed.

That was Glenn Close; the multi-Oscar nominated actress popped up as a pirate on Captain Hook's ship and memorably gets thrown into the 'Boo Box' alongside some snapping scorpions.

Completely unrecognisable in a white busy wig and beard, Close's cameo passed audiences by for years.


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