One of the nation’s freshest-faced new stars will make his mark on the world today. Fantasy film ‘Wendy’ – starring Antiguan youngster Yashua Mack as main character, Peter – makes its cinematic debut on Friday.
The Searchlight Pictures movie will hit theatres in New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC, with expanding release throughout March.
It is a double coup for the twin island nation as several of the scenes were shot in Antigua and Barbuda. Local viewers will recognise the landmark rock formation Hell’s Gate.
‘Wendy’ is the latest film by ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ award-winning director Benh Zeitlin and is a wildly reimagined take on the classic children book by JM Barrie. It premiered at Sundance last month and has already received critical acclaim for both Mack’s performance and its breathtaking visuals.
Mack had no acting experience but was discovered by Zeitlin after a hunt across the region for a suitable young hero.
The plot centres on Wendy and her brothers who hail from a working family and have an itch for adventure. After long nights watching trains rattle by their bedroom window, the kids are whisked away by a mysterious boy named Peter. On Peter’s island they discover a wild new world, one without grown-ups and suspended in time.
“Antigua and Barbuda and all of her natural wonders and topography is on full display in the wondrous world of Wendy,” said Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez.
“We’re excited to have Antigua and Barbuda brought to life across movie screens around the world on such a large scale. We are incredibly proud of Yashua Mack and his performance as Peter Pan and invite viewers to come see Peter Pan’s home firsthand,” he added.
A red-carpet event premiering the movie in Antigua will take place in March at Hodges Bay Resort and Spa, hosted by Zeitlin, Antigua’s Film Commissioner Bert Kirchner and the Ministry of Tourism.