Noah Matthews Matofsky, stars in the film “Peter Pan & Wendy."

Noah Matthews Matofsky, 15, plays Slightly, the leader of the Lost Boys, in the film “Peter Pan & Wendy.”

The role is the first for Matofsky, who is from the United Kingdom, and it also marks the first time that Disney has cast someone with a visible disability in a lead role, according to Matofsky’s representative Sue Zebedee.

The movie is a live-action reimagining of the J.M. Barrie novel and the 1953 animated Disney classic “Peter Pan.” It finds 13-year-old Wendy Darling and her two brothers whisked away to Neverland with Peter Pan — the boy who refuses to grow up — and a tiny fairy named Tinker Bell. There, they meet Peter Pan’s band of Lost Boys and they contend with the evil Captain Hook.

“I can say that the role was not scripted for a Down syndrome actor, but director David Lowery asked us to search for kids to portray the Lost Boys — and Girls — with an eye towards actors with disabilities,” Debra Zane, the film’s casting director, told Disability Scoop. “Noah stood out among those who auditioned as the top contender for Slightly.”

“Peter Pan & Wendy” premieres on the streaming service Disney+.

Original story here