Long live the Hook? Iconic actor Christopher Walken has been tapped to play iconic character Captain Hook in NBC’s production of “Peter Pan Live.”
Bob Greenblatt, NBC’s chairman of entertainment, made the announcement Sunday at the network’s session during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills. And he played up Walken’s background in musicals and his twinkle-toes reputation as making him the perfect man to take on the popular villain from the James M. Barrie work.
“It might be the first tap-dancing Captain Hook you’ve ever seen,” Greenblatt teased.
Walken, known for his irreverent film work, began his wide-ranging career in musicals on Broadway. And he’s combined the two, appearing in a few film musicals including “Hairspray” and “Pennies From Heaven.” He also can be seen dancing in Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys” adaptation.
Sunday’s news marks the first major casting announcement for the production, which will be executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. The pair, coincidentally, worked with Walken on “Hairspray.”
In a statement released by the network, Walken had this to say:
“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.”
“Peter Pan,” which is set to air live Dec. 4, marks the peacock network’s next go at a live musical production after last year’s “The Sound of Music” (also produced by Zadan and Meron), which did well in the ratings but was panned by critics.
Earlier this year, the network announced that it will next add another classic musical, 1957’s “The Music Man,” to its live repertoire.