Coming Distractions: The new Pan trailer features inventive visuals and a rote story

The new trailer for Joe Wright’s Pan proves that the director hasn’t lost the penchant for visual majesty that he exhibited in movies like Atonement and Anna Karenina. Wright’s version of Neverland boats several intricate sets that appear to be digitally extended to the horizon so that every locale seems as endless as a universe. There are also strange touches to this bizzaro reality, like giant balls of water floating in the atmosphere and a version of Saturn small enough for Peter to bat away like a tennis ball. These details all help create the feeling of a world just barely held together by imagination—and they might make audiences wish that the story was anywhere near as inventive.

Early in the trailer, we meet Peter Pan (Levi Miller), an orphan at the center of a prophecy suggesting he will return to Neverland to defeat the evil …

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