Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Tom Hanks Finally Addresses Peter Pan Casting Questions After Years Of Rumors

In Hollywood, some of the biggest rumors floating around town are almost always related to roles that actors didn't take or got turned down for — such as Will Smith nearly being cast as Neo in "The Matrix" or Sean Connery refusing to play Gandalf in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. A lot of the time, the stars themselves will clear the air about what happened or simply debunk the rumors. But not two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks. 

You see, the "Pinocchio" frontman — who plays Geppetto in the new Disney flick — has long been rumored to have nearly scored the role of Peter Pan in Steven Spielberg's 1991 cult classic "Hook," which starred Robin Williams and served as a sequel of sorts for J. M. Barrie's 1911 novel "Peter and Wendy" (via SyFy). But apparently, as the story goes, Hanks was beaten out by Williams despite being Spielberg's first choice (per Vulture). 

"Starring in 'Hook' would have been a boon to Tom Hanks's career and it's a role he could have handled ably," wrote Vulture's Bradford Evans in 2011. "But he wasn't hard up for good parts in the early ['90s], with 'Philadelphia' and 'Forrest Gump' right around the corner." The rumor mill churned for years about the missed opportunity, with Hanks never actually revealing whether the stories had any truth to them. However, that all changed on September 7, 2022, during an interview on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, in which the acting legend finally addressed what happened.

Hanks says Spielberg never wanted him to play Peter Pan

According to Tom Hanks, there was never a competition between him and Robin Williams over the role of Peter Pan in Steven Spielberg's "Hook" — because the director was never interested in him.

"That's false," revealed Hanks on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, after being asked whether Spielberg "first wanted [Hanks] to play Peter Pan." The 66-year-old firmly added, "No." Over the course of his career, Hanks has been the subject of numerous casting rumors and missed roles, especially when it comes to comedies. Vulture listed out some of his most famous ones, including the role of Brad Hamilton in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and Tom Cruise's Joel Goodsen in "Risky Business."

Hanks told the "Happy Sad Confused" crew that one of his most recent missed opportunities was a cameo in "Solo: A Star Wars Story," which apparently slipped through his fingers due to scheduling issues. "I would have done that," Hanks said. "I couldn't get there in time. I think now if you do a survey all kinds of famous people have been in the Stormtrooper outfit. I think Danny Craig was in one, I know movie executives have shown up to be a Stormtrooper. I'd do it."