'Peter Pan' Live: Christopher Walken To Play Hook; Kristen Bell Wanted For Lead Role
NBC, putting together a cast for their upcoming Peter Pan Live! special, has cast Christopher Walken for Hook but is still searching for the lead role after missing out on Kristen Bell.
Christopher Walken Cast As Hook
Walken’s casting as Captain Hook in NBC’s follow-up to The Sound of Music was announced by network chairman Bob Greenblatt at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Sunday.
"[Christopher] is one of the most unique actors in our business," Greenblatt said. "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 exhilarating thing about doing these live musicals is giving the stage to a thrilling performer like Chris, and seeing his once-in-a-lifetime performance unfold at the same moment the audience is watching at home," Greenblatt added.
Walken, who has 13 Broadway credits to his name and who starred in the feature film version of Hairspray, has expressed his excitement in being a part of the live Peter Pan special.
"I started my career in musicals and it’s wonderful after all this time, at this point in my career, to be in this classic musical I watched as a child and to work with Neil Meron and Craig Zadan again after Hairspray,” Walken said. “It’s a chance to put on my tap shoes again."
Casting Peter Pan
More often than not, the titular role in Peter Pan up on the stage is played by a woman – most notably by Tony winner Mary Martin. Greenblatt admitted that NBC was looking for a woman for their TV special and had its sights on Kristen Bell. Bell, who voiced Anna in Frozen, was up for the job, but unfortunately won’t be able to assume the role due to commitments to Showtime’s House of Lies.
"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," said the chairman. "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."
Peter Pan Live! will air on NBC Dec 4, 2014
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