Christopher Walken has been cast as Captain Hook in NBC’s live broadcast of Peter Pan. “He might be the first tap-dancing Hook you’ve ever seen,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told TV critics this morning at Summer TV Press Tour 2014.
Walken, who is currently seen dancing in Clint Eastwood’s screen version of Broadway hit Jersey Boys, began on the Broadway stage in musicals, and has appeared in a number of film musicals, including Hairspray, and the Steve Martin film Pennies From Heaven. He’s well known to NBC’s audience, what with his having hosted Saturday Night Live seven times — where he sometimes performed song-and-dance numbers. Walken won the Academy Award for his role in the Oscar-winning The Deer Hunter, and is also known for his performances in such films as Sleepy Hollow, Pulp Fiction, Wayne’s World, True Romance and Annie Hall. He did his own choreography for the memorable Fatboy Slim video Weapon of Choice, for which he won the MTV Video Music Award for best choreography.
NBC has yet to say who’s been cast in the lead role of Peter Pan, though Greenblatt admitted that they’d approached Kristen Bell who was not available. Last January, following the successful live staging of The Sound Of Music, NBC announced its followup musical — James M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, which will be broadcast Dec. 4. The Sound Of Music‘s exec producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return in that role … Read More »
UPDATED: Following the big ratings success of The Sound Of Music Live! last December, NBC in January set a live production of Peter Pan as its next event musical. With that project in the casting stages, NBC has lined up a third live musical production, The Music Man, for 2015, the network’s chairman Bob Greenblatt announced at the NBC upfront presentation today. No details were given though I hear the network is looking to bring in prolific producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to shepherd the project. The duo is behind NBC’s hugely successful Sound Of Music special and they are also are attached to Peter Pan. Additionally, Zadan and Meron know The Music Man musical very well as they produced the previous TV adaptation for ABC in 2003 starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth. I hear there is no deal in place and making one would a subject to a number of factors, including scheduling. Zadan and Meron have a lot on their plate. In addition to Peter Pan, they are returning again as Oscar producers. The 1957 Broadway The Music Man musical tells the tale of “Professor” Harold Hill, a conman musical instrument salesman who falls for a local librarian.
Principal photography will begin April 28 on Warner Bros Pictures’ live-action Peter Pan feature from director Joe Wright. A revisionist version of the J.M. Barrie tale, Pan follows the story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.
Amanda Seyfried is the latest to be set to play Mary in the cast, which sees Hugh Jackman star as Blackbeard; Garrett Hedlund is Hook; Rooney Mara is Tiger Lily; Adeel Akhtar is Smee; and newcomer Levi Miller is Peter. Read More »
With NBC setting Peter Pan as follow-up to its hugely successful live musical The Sound Of Music, speculation has been rampant who would play the boy that never grows up. In announcing the title and Peter Pan Live‘s premiere date, Dec. 4, NBC boss Bob Greenblatt wouldn’t elaborate on who will follow The Sound Of Music star Carrie Underwood as headliner of Peter Pan, other than to dismiss rumored names like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift. Cue airborne Bill Murray singing his heart out in a all-out performance of I’m Flying on tonight’s Late Show With David Letterman. His message to NBC casting execs: “I’m the guy.”
Following the successful live staging of The Sound Of Music, NBC has set its followup musical — James M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, which will be broadcast on Dec. 4. The Sound Of Music‘s masterminds Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are back as executive producers. “Get ready for flying children,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said. Asked during the executive session about casting choices, he said, “I want Miley Cyrus for (Peter Pan)” but later said that none of the names brought up, a list that included Justin Bieber and Tayler Swift, are among the stars they are considering. (He was coy about whether they are looking at a male or a female lead.) The original Broadway production of Peter Pan, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and featuring songs “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land,” opened on Broadway in 1954. The show had a book by J.M. Barrie and a score by Mark “Moose” Charlap & Carolyn Lee, with additional songs by Jule Styne & Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It starred Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Richard as Captain Hook, both of whom won Tony Awards for their performances. The show closed in 1955 to make way for the live broadcast on NBC, with an audience of 65 million viewers — the highest rating for a single night program at … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: One of the first high-profile series projects for next season is coming together. 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Imagine TV are developing The League Of Pan, a fairytale-themed drama series that takes on the story of Peter Pan. Based on an idea by up-and-coming writer Brian McCauley Johnson, League Of Pan is described as a re-imagining of the Peter Pan mythology. Set in modern day, it centers around the Lost Boys and takes place 10 years after they’ve left Neverland. Imagine TV and 20th TV are in the process of searching for a showrunner who would co-write the pilot script with Johnson. With a showrunner on board, the project will be taken out to the networks.
The Lost Boys, who originated in J.M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan, are boys lost by their nannies who have been whisked off to Neverland to live with Peter Pan. In Barrie’s play and subsequent novel, the Lost Boys return to London with the Darling kids to live with their family, while in the Disney movies they stay at Neverland with Peter. The League Of Pan comes at a time when contemporary dramas with fairytale elements are hot following the success of freshman breakouts Once Upon A Time on ABC and Grimm on NBC. On the feature side, there have been a couple of Peter Pan projects percolating, including another contemporary re-imagening of the the story that centers on the … Read More »
UPDATE: Channing Tatum’s rep said that he does not plan to star in the film at all, only produce.
EARLIER: Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor will direct Neverland, the Billy Ray-scripted film that takes a new look at J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. The project is at Sony, and Channing Tatum is attached to star and produce with his partner Reid Carolin under their Iron Horse banner. The pair hatched the project together, and they brought in Ray and enlisted fairy tale go to guy producer Joe Roth, and they sold the pitch to Sony. Palak Patel is also producing. The film, described to me as an origin story of Peter Pan and Hook, rides the wave of revisionist tales after the Roth-produced Alice in Wonderland, and the craze continues with the Snow White pics Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman.
All this comes at a good time for the movie, as Tatum has become a bonafide up and coming star after The Vow, and that is expected to be enhanced with tomorrow’s opening of 21 Jump Street. Tatum’s repped by UTA and Management 360.
O’Connor, who directed the U.S. Olympic hockey team saga Miracle for Disney, directed one of the true gems of 2011 in Warrior, which was unfortunately sold by Lionsgate as a mixed martial arts film when it was a thoughtful father-son story that … Read More »
Peter Pan himself will make his first appearance in Disney Channel’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates in a primetime special Monday, February 13. In the episode Peter Pan Returns the character comes back to Pirate Island in search of his lost shadow. Adam Wylie (Picket Fences) voices Peter. The episode features six new songs. Sharon Osbourne, Josh Duhamel, Jane Kaczmarek and Tiffani Thiessen voice recurring roles. Other voice cast members include David Arquette, Tori Spelling, Lisa Loeb, Adam West and Ariel Winter. Season two of Jake and the Never Land Pirates debuts Monday February 20 with new episodes daily at 8:30 a.m. ET/PT as part of Disney Channel’s Disney Junior programming block for kids age 2-7.