f you, like me, are the sort of unapologetically difficult individual who repeatedly insists on rooting for the black hats, then you have to know - from the very beginning - that a story like Peter Pan is simply not going to end well; not for us and certainly not for the fictional object of our affections. Our hero consumed, his crew slaughtered or scattered and his ship purloined by flying juvenile delinquents is the stuff of epic tragedy for any true Hook fan. And while the 2003 movie has many delights to recommend it - foremost
of which being a rapturously wonderful performance of Hook by Jason Isaacs - mercilessly true to its source, the Captain is sent down to his foreordained doom a good ten minutes before the end credits.
But before you go running off to the weeping corner with a nice cup of rum-tinged tea, just consider that it cannot be that easy to kill off a good villain; a villain so sinisterly dashing and clever, so deliciously ruthless and suave; a villain who - most importantly - plunged into the maw of a giant crocodile without sustaining so much as a nick of an incisor on the way down, whilst still possessed of a razor-sharp hook for a hand. Such a villain, as far as I can see, isn't
going to stay a croc monsieur for long. (sorry)
So, Capt. James Hook cried out to come back, bellowing loudly from the belly of the beast. His story needed to be told - well, all right, my version of it, anyway - and Heartless is the result: Hook as he rants and rails in my head. Although my main inspiration is the recent movie, I also rely on Barrie's book/play. My hope is to write something
that honours the spirit of J.M. Barrie's tale and captures the essence of his characters and their voices. Of course, I am not J.M. Barrie. I'm not even P.J. Hogan. Heartless is ultimately but a fanfic, definitive of nothing and I can only claim to try my best and have fun doing so. I hope you will have fun reading the results.
Absinthe Minded, 2006