Peter Pan, his fellow characters, and the setting of Neverland have appeared in many works since the original books and play by J. M. Barrie. The earliest were the stage productions of the play, and an adaptation to silent film, done with Barrie's involvement and personal approval. Later works were authorized by the Great Ormond Street Hospital, to which Barrie gave the rights to the Peter Pan works; these include adaptations of the main story in both animated and live-action films, musical stage productions, and a sequel novel. In addition, there have been numerous uses of Barrie's characters, settings, and storylines which challenged or took advantage of the changing copyright status of these elements, including reinterpretations, sequels, prequels, and spin-offs in a variety of media, including film, television series, and books.
When dramatized, the character of Peter has usually — but not always — been played by an adult woman. For boys' roles to be played by women is a convention of the pantomime tradition that was popular when the play was first produced, and was necessitated by laws restricting the use of child actors for evening performances. Later adaptations have often followed this example, for reasons that include tradition, the performance demands of the role, and the marketing advantages of "star" actresses. The roles of Captain Hook and George Darling happened to be played by the same actor in the original production, a tradition which has sometimes been continued in later dramatic adaptations.
- Although Barrie did not intend the play as a pantomime, it has many features in common with this traditional genre of British children's theatre: a boy in the lead role (played by a woman), actors in animal costumes, a flamboyant villain, fantasy themes, and even its original presentation during the Christmas/New Year season. Beginning in 1905, "panto" productions based on the play – often featuring popular entertainers – have been a regular feature of British holiday theatre. In keeping with the genre, they are staged as full professional productions, but may feature largely original storylines, music, slapstick, improvisation, and audience participation, all intended to amuse children and their parents.
- Peter Pan, music and lyrics by Jerome Kern (1924), an authorized Broadway adaptation. Included two songs.
- Peter Pan, music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein (1950), an authorized Broadway adaptation. Intended as a musical, it was eventually staged as a "straight" dramatic version with only five songs. This version starred Jean Arthur as Peter Pan, and Boris Karloff in the dual roles of Mr Darling and Captain Hook.
- Peter Pan, by Jerome Robbins (1954), an authorized musical stage adaptation. Taking the opposite path of the 1950 adaptation, it was originally to have only a few incidental songs, but evolved into a full Broadway musical. This version became widely known as a vehicle for Mary Martin, and revivals featured television actress Sandy Duncan and gymnast Cathy Rigby as Peter. A 2007 production added a flashback in the beginning and two new songs, and featured a boy as Peter Pan.
- Neverland, book, music, and lyrics by Jim Steinman (1975), a futuristic musical stage adaptation. Although it only existed as a brief workshop at the Kennedy Center in 1977, three of the songs would be re-worked for the album Bat out of Hell.
- Peter Pan: The British Musical, book, music and lyrics by Piers Chater Robinson (1985), an authorized musical stage adaptation.
- Peter Pan, book, music, and lyrics by Philip Glassborow (1996), an authorized musical stage adaptation based on Glassborow's radio musical. The Watermill Theatre in Newbury, Berkshire commissioned a new musical adaptation, following Glassborow's successful BBC radio dramatization. Glassborow was given special access by Great Ormond Street Hospital to Barrie's own (unproduced) script for the 1924 silent film, along with additional dialogue from Barrie's variant texts for American productions, which were incorporated into this production.
- Peter Pan, lyrics by Anthony Drewe and music by George Stiles (1996), a musical stage adaptation, first staged in Copenhagen. Performed and recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, and broadcast on New Year's Eve 2001 by the BBC.
- Peter Pan, musical, music and lyrics by Erfolgsduo Hagen, book by Wolfgang Barth and Andreas Bochtrop-Wegerich, a musical stage adaption (2008).
- Peter Pan by Paramount Pictures (1924), an authorized silent movie adaptation. Starred Betty Bronson as Peter and Ernest Torrence as Hook. Barrie was involved in this production and wrote a screenplay for it, but Paramount instead used the original stage script, taking dialog from it for the intertitles.
- Walt Disney's Peter Pan (February 5, 1953), an authorized animated adaptation. Disney licensed the film rights to the story in 1939. It featured music by Sammy Cahn, Frank Churchill, Sammy Fain, and Ted Sears. 15-year-old film actor Bobby Driscoll supplied the voice of Peter. This version contained little of the original dialogue from the play or its novelization.
- Hook by Steven Spielberg (1991), an authorized live-action sequel. A family action/adventure film starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins and Maggie Smith. The film has a grown-up "Peter Banning" who has forgotten his childhood, lured back to Neverland by Captain Hook, who has kidnapped Peter's two young children in an attempt to once again find meaning in his life. Despite being critically panned, the film grossed nearly $120 million in the U.S., the 4th highest grossing movie of 1991.
- Return to Never Land from Disney (February 2002), an apparently authorized animated sequel to the 1953 Disney film. Wendy's daughter Jane becomes involved with Peter Pan. The movie takes place during World War II, set amidst the Blitz (1940), and deals with the issue of children being forced to grow up too fast.
- Peter Pan directed by P. J. Hogan (2003), an authorized live-action movie adaptation. This version is notable for its directness in addressing the romantic elements between Peter (Jeremy Sumpter) and Wendy. Wendy was played by Rachel Hurd-Wood and Hook by Jason Isaacs, who also plays the role of Mr Darling. The $100 million film boasted state-of-the-art special effects by ILM and took nearly a year to produce in Australia, but was not a financial success for Universal Studios.
- Neverland by writer/director Damion Dietz (2003), an unauthorized film reinterpretation. Set in early 21st century Los Angeles and heavily "updated" for this setting, Dietz's independently produced film – featuring Wil Wheaton as John Darling – maintains much of the characterization, plot and themes of Barrie's original story.
With the lapsing copyrights on Peter Pan in various jurisdictions, a number of short unauthorized, low-budget, animated adaptations of the film have been produced.
- Producers' Showcase: Peter Pan (March 7, 1955). The 1954 stage version was re-staged for television by NBC as part of its monthly high-quality anthology series and broadcast on as a historic, live color television event. The production was so well received that Producers' Showcase remounted a second live version on January 9, 1956, with the same cast. Mary Martin played TV's Peter Pan for the third time on December 8, 1960 and it is this version, also telecast by NBC, and recorded on color videotape, that was repeated in 1963, 1966 and 1973. Unlike the 1955 and 1956 telecasts, which were shown on Producers' Showcase, this third version was not telecast as part of a dramatic anthology series, but as a special program in its own right, much like The Wizard of Oz or the Baryshnikov Nutcracker. After the 1973 telecast, it was presumed lost and not broadcast again until March 1989, after which it eventually appeared a few times, curiously enough, on the Disney Channel. It was also released on videocassette and (very briefly) on DVD. In 2000, the Cathy Rigby stage production, featuring almost all of the songs used in the 1954 version, was telecast by A&E on cable television. Both the Mary Martin and Cathy Rigby versions were eventually released on VHS and DVD, but the Mary Martin version has gone out of print, with no plans to reissue it.
- Hallmark Hall of Fame: Peter Pan (December 12, 1976). A new TV musical production was broadcast on NBC. It starred Mia Farrow as Peter and Danny Kaye as Captain Hook. It had a new score, with music and lyrics by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, but did not achieve the success or the popularity that the Mary Martin version had. The screenplay was by Andrew Birkin, who went on to write and direct The Lost Boys, a docudrama for the BBC about Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies boys.
- Peter Pan no Bōken ("Adventures of Peter Pan", also romanized as "Pîtâ Pan no Bôken") by Nippon Animation (1989), an unauthorized anime television series. Produced as part of Nippon's World Masterpiece Theater series, the first 23 episodes are a loose adaptation of Barrie's story, while the latter half introduces a completely original arc with new supporting characters.
- Peter Pan and the Pirates on Fox Kids (1990), an animated TV series based on Barrie's novel, presenting the Darling children's other adventures in the Neverland during their stay. The series also focuses on significant development of the pirates as less one-dimensional characters. Voice talents in the cast included Jason Marsden as Peter and Tim Curry as "Captain James T. Hook"; Curry won an Emmy for it.
- Disney produced picture book and comic book adaptations of the story, based on their 1953 animated version, published by Dell Comics and Gold Key.
- Peter Pank by Spanish cartoonist "Max" (Max) (1985-1990), an unauthorized comics reinterpretation for "adults only". Peter is a violent, spiked-hair anarchist living in Punkland with a gang of punk Lost Boys. The pirates are a gang of rockers, the Indians are hippies, and the female characters all spend a lot of time bare-breasted, with numerous sexual scenes. It was published in three European-format albums: Peter Pank, El Licantropunk, and Pankdinista.
- Peter Pan by French cartoonist Régis Loisel (1990-2004), an unauthorized prequel comic book. A bawdy, violent series of six albums (two of which won the Angoulême Audience Award), giving Peter Pan's back story a distinctly Dickensian flavor. The original story was in the public domain in France when the first volume was released.
- Peter Pan: Return to Never-Never Land by Ron Fortier and Gary Kato (1991), an unauthorized sequel. Peter brings two modern African-American boys to Never-Never Land, published by Malibu Comics under the Adventure Comics imprint, two issues later reprinted in a single volume.
- The Lost by Marc Andreyko, Galen Showman, and Jay Geldhof (1997), an unauthorized sequel comic book. This urban horror-themed mini-series published by Caliber Comics and Chaos! Comics continues the story in present-day New York City, with Peter revealed as a vampire boy hustler who leads a small group of vampire boys including Michael, and lures another girl named Wendy to join them.
- Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie (July 2006), an unauthorized reinterpretation graphic novel. A controversial use of Wendy Darling alongside Dorothy Gale from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Alice Liddell from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1913, telling each other stories about their sexual experiences. In it, Peter and the Lost Boys are a handful of boys with whom Wendy had a sexual encounter in Kensington Gardens.
- Peter Pan and the Only Children by Gilbert Adair (1987), an unauthorized sequel/prequel novel. This book is written and presented in a format similar to Peter and Wendy, with bound-in color illustrations by Jenny Thorne. It has Peter living with a different gang of Lost Boys under the ocean, recruiting "only children" who jump from passing ships as new members, including the newest: 10-year-old Miranda Porter. They have adventures under the sea, including a duel with Captain Hook which ends indecisively. The narrator suggests at the end that perhaps this is a prequel to the adventure with Wendy Darling, or they take place without sequence. Adair's previous novel was Alice through the Needle's Eye, a sequel to the Alice in Wonderland stories.
- Hook by Terry Brooks (1991), a novelization of the Spielberg film.
- After the Rain: A New Adventure for Peter Pan by J. E. Somma (1999), an unauthorized sequel novel. Set in modern times, telling of Peter's reaction to a world that has grown to neglect him, and his rescue by three children who teach him that it's OK to grow up. It was published without incident in Canada, where the copyright to Peter Pan was generally agreed to have expired, but Somma and GOSH were in legal dispute when it was published in the U.S. in 2002, where GOSH claimed their copyrights were still valid. They eventually settled out of court.
- Neverland: the Early Adventures of Peter Pan by R. Scott Leatherwood (October 2001), an unauthorized prequel novel. A children's story which attempted to answer seventeen questions about Peter's life before meeting the Darling children.
- Wendy by Karen Wallace (December 2003), an unauthorized prequel novel for young adults. An attempt to explain the Darling children's willingness to fly away with Peter on the grounds that their home life, up until shortly before Peter appeared, had been filled with abuse and tragedy: a cruel nanny, a criminally irresponsible father, and a suggestion of insanity in the family.
- The Lost Girls: A Novel by Laurie Fox (January 2004), an unauthorized sequel novel. Follows the interaction of Peter Pan with each generation of Wendy Darling's female descendents, up to a distinctly 21st-century great-great-granddaughter. Published by Simon and Schuster.
- The "Starcatchers" books by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, a series of unauthorized prequel novels, published by Hyperion Books (a subsidiary of Disney).
- The "Never Land Books" by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Greg Call (ill.), a series of unauthorized spin-off chapter books. Based on the continuity established by the "Starcatchers" novels, for a younger audience.
- Escape from the Carnivale (August 2006).
- Cave of the Dark Wind (July 2007).
- Blood Tide (September 2008)
- Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth by James V. Hart (co-writer of the movie Hook), Brett Helquist (ill.) (2005), a prequel illustrated novel. Details the history of 15-year old James Matthew, young Oppidan Scholar and future Captain Hook. The book portrays the villainous youth in a sympathetic light.
- The Disney Fairies books by Gail Carson Levine, David Christiana (ill.), a series of unauthorized spin-off illustrated novels for children. Part of the Disney Fairies franchise, published by Disney Press. Introduces a new cast of "Never Fairies", in addition to Tinker Bell. Peter Pan and Captain Hook are mentioned but play very minor roles. Additional chapter books in the series are intended for younger readers, and were written by various authors, focusing on the different characters invented by Levine.
- Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg (2005).
- Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand (July 2007).
- Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean (October 2006), an authorized sequel novel. Commissioned by Great Ormond Street Hospital following a search begun in 2004. It has been sold in 40 different editions in 37 languages. The book is published by Oxford University Press in the UK and Margaret K McElderry (Simon & Schuster) in the US.
References in other works
- In 1980, Petula Clark starred in Never, Never Land as a woman whose niece, captivated by Barrie's tale, runs away and takes refuge with a group of "lost boys" squatting in a deserted London townhouse.
- The 1990s animated series The Mask included a villain named "Skillet" who resembled Pan in some respects and sent his shadow out to absorb the youth of other people, and was voiced by Jason Marsden, who supplied the voice of Peter Pan in the animated series Peter Pan and the Pirates.
- The 2002 novel The League of Heroes by Xavier Mauméjean is set in an alternate universe in which Neverland has materialized in Kensington Gardens. The fairy folk are commonplace in London, as are pirates and Indians. Peter Pan is considered one of several enemies of the repressive government and is pursued by the League whose members include Lord Admiral Hook (Captain Hook), Sherlock Holmes, and Lord Greystoke (Tarzan).