Yes, you read that title right. Christopher Walken has been cast as the villainous Captain Hook in a new Peter Pan musical being developed by NBC! I've got to admit that I'm kind of shocked by this news. I never thought in million years that Walken would ever play a character like this, especially on a TV series. It's pretty damn awesome though! Walken is going to be amazing… as always. Here's what the actor had to say in a statement:
"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 had this to say in a statement:
"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."
Wait… whaaaat?! That's going to be a sight to see. We know Walken has got some dance skills, but a tap dancing Captain Hook? That's going to be different. Greenblatt went on to reveal that they wanted to cast Kristen Bell as Peter but they were unable to work out timing due to her commitment to Showtime's House of Lies. The executive explains:
"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."
It makes sense that they would want a female to play Peter, as the character has always traditionally been played by a girl on stage. According to THR, "Based on James M. Barrie's revered book and musical, NBC's new take, which hails from Universal Television, comes after the network in 1955 staged a live broadcast of the Broadway production of Peter Pan that opened in 1954. The show, starring Tony winners Mary Martin and Cyril Richard drew 65 million viewers — the highest rating for a single night program at the time. NBC later broadcast the show live again in 1956 and 1960. It was also the first broadcast of a musical in color."
Executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron added:
"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."
This Peter Pan production sounds like it will be a lot of fun to watch. Of course, I'll watch anything that Walken is in.