'Grownish' Actress Yara Shahidi Tapped to Play Tinkerbell in Disney's Live-Action 'Peter Pan'

Yara Shahidi, who plays Zoey Johnson on Black-ish and its spin-off Grown-ish, just nabbed another big Disney role. She will star as Tinkerbell in the upcoming live-action remake of Peter Pan, titled Peter Pan and Wendy. The film will be directed by Pete's Dragon filmmaker David Lowery and also stars Jude Law as Captain Hook and Alexander Monoly and Ever Anderson in the title roles.

Peter Pan and Wendy was written by Lowey and Toby Halbrooks, one of Lowery's frequent collaborators and a co-writer on Pete's Dragon. Jim Whitaker (The Finest Hours, Friday Night Lights) is producing. Sources told Deadline Disney plans to release Peter Pan and Wendy theatrically and not to Disney+ immediately.

J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan novel has been filmed countless times since the dawn of film history. Disney previously adapted the story into an animated film in 1953, which is still considered among the best adaptations. Almost every studio has tried its own version of the story to little success. Steven Spielberg's Hook with Robin Williams and Joe Wright's Pan both disappointed at the box office. Earlier this year, Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin released a re-imagining of the story called Wendy, but the film was a critical and financial failure.

Tinkerbell is Peter Pan's fairy companion, who famously gets jealous of Wendy when Peter takes her and her brothers to Neverland. The character has traditionally been played by a white actress, but Disney has been open to diversifying characters for its live-action adaptations. The studio previously cast Halle Bailey to play Ariel in The Little Mermaid, even though the character was portrayed as white in the animated film.

Shahidi, 20, is best known for starring as Zoey Johnson, the eldest daughter of Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross' characters, on ABC's Black-ish. In 2017, she was given her own spin-off series, Grown-ish, which followed Zoey to college. The show was recently renewed for a fourth season and airs on Freeform. The series also inspired a prequel series, Mixed-ish, following the childhood of Ross' character.


Shahidi previously made headlines this week when Mattel announced she was getting a second Barbie doll, following the 2019 Shero Doll included in the Role Model Series. This time, the Shahidi doll is wearing a "Vote" shirt to encourage young people to participate in the November election. The doll's package includes a QR code linking to WeVoteNext.