Christopher Walken accepts exciting new role
Big news for NBC's upcoming "Peter Pan Live!" special. Award-winning veteran actor Christopher Walken is set to play villain Captain Hook. Time reports the announcement was made Sunday by NBC Entertainment chairman, Robert Greenblatt, during the Television Critics Association press tour. "He's one of the most unique actors in our business," Greenblatt said. "[Walken] might really be a song and dance man at heart. ... He's fearless as a comedic actor and always comes to play. I guarantee you he's going to bring his own spin to Captain Hook. He might be the first tap-dancing Captain Hook."
Oh yeah, we definitely have no doubt about that. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Walken said "It's a chance to put on my tap shoes again."
And hey when you mix Christopher Walken and a couple groovy dance moves, it's hard to go wrong.
Remember when he broke it down in this Fatboy Slim video?
But it's not just his dance moves that make Walken an exciting choice for the NBC musical. He also has a pretty extensive Broadway history, taking the stage most recently in 2010 where he played in "A Behanding in Spokane."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, upon the announcement Walken said, "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."
The gig gives Walken a chance to work with Neil Meron and Craig Zadan - two producers the Oscar winner already partnered with while filming the 2007 musical, New Line Cinema / "HairSpray."
And while this is big news for the play, which begins production in August, there's still one vital role that has yet to be filled: Peter Pan.
Greenblat also addressed that role Sunday, saying he wanted Kristen Bell for the role but there was a schedule conflict.
Entertainment Weekly reports "We were talking about doing it with a man at one point, but we've had several women who wanted to do it ... It's not like we can film this at any time; I need this person from Aug. 5-Dec. 5 ... 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 making of Peter Pan comes on the heels of NBC's live production of NBC / "The Sound of Music" starring Carrie Underwood. Nearly 19 million people tuned in to watch the musical last December.
But it also raked in its fair share of critics - especially regarding Underwood's performance. The same producers are also working on "Peter Pan."
NBC has a history with the movie about the flying boy who never grows up. In 1955, the Broadway show, starring Mary Martin, aired on the network, and 65 million people watched - a record high at the time.
So yes, there's a lot to live up to. But with Walken on board and playing a character who Broadway.com calls "The greatest villain of all time," we have high hopes.
"Peter Pan Live!" is expected to air on NBC Dec. 4.
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