Oscar winner, Bond villain and Fatboy Slim-loving tapdancer Christopher Walken will star as Captain Hook in NBC’s live musical version of Peter Pan, the follow-up to the previous production of The Sound of Music, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The casting reunites Walken with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron after his starring role in the 2007 version of Hairspray. Walken stated, “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. It’s a chance to put on my tap shoes again.”
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt states, “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.” Greenblatt also said that he was hoping to land Kristen Bell to star as Peter but they couldn’t work out timing due to her commitment to House of Lies on Showtime.
“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 August 5 to December 5, so that knocks out the Kristen Bells of the world… 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.
“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,” executive producers Zadan and Meron said.
Walken has appeared in more than 100 feature films and TV series. He won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in The Deer Hunter and was nominated for Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can. His credits also include villain Max Zorin in A View To A Kill, Max Schrek in Batman Returns, a memorable cameo in Pulp Fiction, a tapdancing version of himself in the video for Fatboy Slim’s Weapon Of Choice and of course THE Bruce Dickinson in Saturday Night Live’s infamous “More Cowbell” sketch. Don’t fear the reaper…
Peter Pan will be broadcast on December 5th, 2014