Shortly after an impressive 18.6 million viewers tuned in for NBC’s ‘The Sound of Music Live!’ this past holiday season, chairman Bob Greenblatt announced that their next live musical would be ‘Peter Pan.’ Not many details were revealed at the time, except that ‘Smash’ producers and Broadway veterans Craig Zadan and Neil Meron would re-team for the production that’s set to air this December. However, we now have the first bit of casting information featuring some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Zadan and Meron have tapped Oscar winner Christopher Walken to star as Captain Hook in the upcoming musical. The pair previously worked with the actor on the film adaptation of ‘Hairspray’, but that was far from his first time singing and dancing. Recently, he appeared in Clint Eastwood’s ‘Jersey Boys’, but Walken has over a dozen Broadway credits including his Tony-nominated performance in ‘James Joyce’s The Dead’. Fans will also recall his memorable appearance in Fatboy Slim’s music video for ‘Weapon of Choice’ directed by Spike Jonze that saw him dancing in an abandoned hotel lobby. Greenblatt had the following to say about the popular actor’s inclusion in the project as the iconic pirate from Neverland:
“He’s one of the most unique actors in our business. He might really just be a song and dance man at heart. This might be the first tap dancing Captain Hook you’ve ever seen.”
The NBC executive also shed some light on who they’re approaching for the lead role of Peter Pan. Previously, the chairman shared that they may deviate from tradition and cast a man as the leader of the Lost Boys, but it looks like the production has had a change of heart. Among the women they have reached out to is Kristen Bell, who is still riding the wave of popularity from Disney’s surprise hit ‘Frozen’, but her schedule won’t permit it:
“We were talking about doing it with a man at one point, but we’ve had several women who wanted to do it and they’re either busy or their schedules don’t work. It’s not like we can film this at any time; I need this person from Aug. 5-Dec. 5, so that knocks out the Kristen Bells of the world, who was somebody I talked to about doing it and she was interested but she’s doing ‘House of Lies’. It’s tricky finding the right person in the schedule that we need it but we’re actually close. [Peter is] going to be female.”
Considering that rehearsals are set to begin soon, we’re likely to hear who our new Peter will be within the next couple of weeks. Although I’m a little disappointed that ‘Glee’ star Chris Colfer is definitely out of the running for the part now, I’m excited to see who they get to follow in the footsteps of Mary Martin, who played the titular character when the network staged a live broadcast of the Broadway production in 1955.
What do you think about Christopher Walken playing Captain Hook in NBC’s ‘Peter Pan’? Do you have any predictions about who will play the musical’s titular character? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter