Turning back time: Hugh Jackman has signed up to play the chief villain in a new take on <i>Peter Pan</i>.

Back story: Hugh Jackman will play the chief villain in a new take on Peter Pan. Photo: James Brickwood

Hugh Jackman has been cast as a pirate in Pan, the big-budget Warner Bros movie that imagines the origins of Peter Pan. But he won't be playing Captain Hook. Instead Jackman will play Blackbeard, the movie's chief villain.

Pan is written by actor-turned-writer Jason Fuchs, whose screenplay imagines events before J.M. Barrie's classic 1904 play. In this new take on the story, the mortal enemies of Barrie's tale, Peter Pan and Captain Hook, are friends and crew members on Blackbeard's ship. Javier Bardem had previously been linked to the role of Blackbeard but had passed on it, Variety reported.

English director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement and Anna Karenina) is directing Pan. Wright, best known for literary adaptations, costume dramas and films starring Keira Knightley, had also been attached to another project, a live-action version of The Little Mermaid.

Garrett Hedlund (On the Road, TRON: Legacy) has been offered the role of Captain Hook, The Hollywood Reporter said. At present he is making Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie and being shot in Australia. There is no word on who will play Peter Pan.

Jackman told The Huffington Post: "I love the director Joe Wright, I love working with Warner Bros and I think this is just really exciting. It's a very cool project. And it's wonderful for my kids!"

He recently finished shooting X-Men: Days of Future Past, in which he plays tortured hero Wolverine for the sixth time. In the gritty drama Prisoners, released last year, he gave a powerful performance as a father prepared to go to the most brutal lengths to try to find his missing daughter.

The figure of Peter Pan has been a staple of popular culture and movies over the years. Previous Peter Pan-related films include Disney's famous 1953 animated version; Steven Spielberg's sequel, Hook, with a grown-up Peter; Finding Neverland, the story behind Barrie's creation of the character, which starred Johnny Depp as the author; and Australian director P.J. Hogan's 2003 Peter Pan, which stayed close to Barrie's original.

There are several other projects in the pipeline for the boy who wouldn't grow up. Actor Channing Tatum has a revisionist project in development, although he is involved as a producer and has said he won't be playing Peter Pan or Captain Hook. Disney is adapting a young adult novel called Peter and the Starcatchers, written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, with Gary Ross (who wrote the screenplay for the first Hunger Games movie) set to direct.

But there is no word of movement on another Pan project in the pipeline: a version that imagines Peter Pan as a kidnapper of children and Hook as the police officer trying to track him down. Aaron Eckhart was to have played Hook, and Sean Bean his associate, Smee. Guillermo del Toro was rumoured to be directing, then Ben Hibon was to have made his directing debut, after creating some key animation for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.