Christopher Walken as Captain Hook.
It just sounds so right, doesn’t it? Which makes us wonder why it took so long into the Oscar winner’s career for this inspired bit of casting to happen. You can thank NBC for sprinkling fairy dust on the dreams we didn’t even know we had. Christopher Walken has been cast as Hook, the neurotic, clock-fearing pirate in Peter Pan Live!
And, rumor has it, in this version he’ll also tap dance.
As you might’ve guessed, Peter Pan Live! is NBC’s next foray into live broadcast musicals after the success of The Sound of Music Live! (starring True Blood’s Stephen Moyer as Captain Von Trapp) last year.
NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt announced the casting at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, saying, “He’s not only one of the most versatile actors in our business, but his love of musicals and uncanny abilities as a dancer make him perfect for stepping into this classic James M. Barrie character…. This might be the first tap dancing Captain Hook you’ve ever seen.”
Walken joins the ranks of actors who have played Hook, alongside Dustin Hoffman, Rhys Ifans, Jason Isaacs, Ian McShane, and (in the coming year or two) Garrett Hedlund and Tom Hiddleston. But that voice—those eyes—those infectious dance moves from that video you already knew we were gonna link to:
“I started my career in musicals,” Walken said in a statement, “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.”
But what about the boy who never grew up? Greenblatt revealed that they had been pursuing Kristen Bell to put on those iconic green tights, but her House of Lies shooting schedule completely interfered. And here we were so hoping we’d see Peter ask Hook if he wants to build a snowman. (Whereas Hook would respond with, “No, I want to kill everyone you love.” but still, it would be great up to that point.)
Greenblatt did confirm that they’re still going to carry on the tradition started by Mary Martin in 1955 and cast a woman as the title role: “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.”
Until that gets announced, we’ll be over here grooving to “Weapon of Choice.”