Come Away
Angelina Jolie and David Oyelowo in 'Come Away'. Image Credit: Supplied

An impressive cast, familiar characters and inclusivity are at the heart of the new fantasy drama, ‘Come Away’, now showing in UAE cinemas. Directed by Brenda Chapman, the film, set in the 19th century, depicts the title characters of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Peter Pan’ as siblings. And their parents are played by none other than American superstar Angelina Jolie and ‘Selma’s’ Nigerian-American actor David Oyelowo, giving the beloved children’s stories an interracial twist. The film also stars the likes of Michael Caine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Clarke Peters, David Gyasi, Anna Chancellor and Derek Jacobi.

David Oyelowo Come Away
David Oyelowo.

Here’s everything you need to know about the film before you head to the theatres:

The premise

Featuring a new spin on characters created by J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan) and Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), ‘Come Away’ stars the title characters of the respective stories as siblings. When their parents (Jack and Rose Littleton) lose their eldest child, the siblings escape to a land of fantasy to help themselves and their parents cope with the tragedy. The precocious siblings are played by child actors Jordan A Nash and Keira Chansa.

‘Come Away’ is director Brenda Chapman’s first live-action movie

David Oyelowo Angelina Jolie Come Away
David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie in 'Come Away'.

In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Chapman said of ‘Come Away’, “When I read this script, I thought, ‘Well, if I’m ever going to do a live-action film, this is the one.’”

She said she was drawn to the “fantasy aspect of the story, the two characters we all know and love, and having an opportunity to tell that story in a very different way.”

A Pixar veteran, Chapman was the first woman to helm a film at the animation studio (‘Brave’). She was unceremoniously booted from the project by the then-Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter over creative differences, but shared directorial credit with Mark Andrews. (In November 2017, Lasseter took a six-month sabbatical from Pixar and Disney Animation after acknowledging what he called “missteps” in his behaviour with employees. By 2018, he left the company.)

The director has a number of firsts up her sleeve. Chapman was also the first woman to direct an animated feature from a major studio, DreamWorks Animation’s ‘The Prince of Egypt’ in 1998, and the first woman to serve as head of story at Disney, during the making of 1994’s ‘The Lion King’.

The film, not yet released in the United States or the United Kingdom, was targeted by ‘review bombers’

The interracial movie saw an organised group leave fake reviews and low ratings on IMDb, which the film database website later took down when actor Oyelowo informed them of the attack.

“The film is not rooted in race, at all. It so happens to be a family the likes of which would and could have historically existed in that time in British history, yet not the norm of what you are used to seeing,” said actor Oyelowo of the incident in an interview with THR.

Don’t miss it!

‘Come Away’ releases in the UAE on November 5.