Oscar-winning actor Christopher Walken has joined the cast as iconic villain Captain Hook, NBC entertainment chair Bob Greenblatt announced this morning at the network's TCA press tour in Beverly Hills. Airing Dec. 4, "Peter Pan Live!" is poised to piggyback on the Peacock's smash "Sound of Music" remake, which, ahem, hooked more than 18 million viewers upon its live broadcast last year.
"He's one of the most unique actors in our business," Greenblatt said of Walken. "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."
Walken is known for a substantial number of dramatic roles, particularly in classic films like 1978's "The Deer Hunter" and 1994's "Pulp Fiction," but the actor has also exhibited a musical flair over the years, showcasing his soft-shoe skills in 1981's "Pennies From Heaven" and 2007's "Hairspray" remake. In a statement issued today, Walken discussed how his early theater background set the stage to team up once again with "Hairspray" executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan for "Peter Pan."
"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,'" the actor gushed. "It’s a chance to put on my tap shoes again."
Audiences can currently catch Walken on the big screen in Clint Eastwood's film adaptation of Tony-winning Broadway hit "Jersey Boys," but the versatile performer ignited a cult phenomenon when he teamed with director Spike Jonze on the video for Fatboy Slim's 2001 single "Weapon of Choice." In addition, Walken has demonstrated his comedic talents during multiple guest-hosting stints on "Saturday Night Live," the most famous of which begs the question if his updated Captain Hook will also come with more cowbell.
"Peter Pan Live!" will air Thursday, Dec. 4 on NBC