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David Oyelowo reimagines 2 classic children’s tales in new film

(l-r) Keira Chansa stars as Alice, David Oyelowo as Jack, Reece Yates as David and Jordan A. Nash as Peter in Come Away, a Relativity Media release. (Photo credit: Alex Bailey / © Maginot Line LLC 2020)

Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland are two of the many cult fairy tales that excluded children of color. During this age of reboots, actors David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie teamed up with director Brenda Chapman and writer Marissa Kate Goodhill to retell both of those stories with the fantasy-driven family film Come Away. Unlike the original stories, Come Away meshes the stories together, making Alice and Peter siblings dealing with a familial loss that results in both using their imaginations to heal their family.

Rolling out had the pleasure of speaking with Selma actor David Oyelowo about his decision to produce the film, reimagining Peter Pan and the message that Come Away has for children and parents today.

Come Away is a rich fairy tale that’s reminiscent of two stories we learned in childhood, but the obvious difference is that it felt inclusive. The cast is beautifully diverse without the feeling that diversity was a focal point. Was that subtleness intentional?

It was intentional in the sense that race is not intentional. Of course, we are aware of having the freshness of putting Alice and Peter together in the same story changes the dynamic in such a way. I think that just opens these stories up for the next generation — Black, White, whatever, it doesn’t matter. We all know that loss has no color, fantasy and imagination have no color, so this is just an opportunity to bring freshness to these beloved fairy tales.

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