Looks like Peter Pan isn’t going to a Peter after all. During a post-panel scrum at the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on Sunday, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt revealed that the lead character of the network’s planned Peter Pan Live event will indeed be played by a woman.
“It’s going to be female,” Greenblatt stated to journalists when asked about the status of casting the role. This move follows the gender neutral tradition set by most stage versions of the show.
At this moment in time, Greenblatt wouldn’t reveal who, in particular, they have in mind to play the infamously ageless imp, but noted that they have had “several women interested,” including none other than Veronica Mars herself Kristen Bell. Sadly, although Bell would be an inspired choice given her vocal chops (she played Anna in last year’s big screen hit Frozen) and small stature, she won’t actually get to fight Captain Hook, who, Greenblatt also announced Sunday, will be played by Christopher Walken.
“[Kristen’s] interested, but she’s doing House of Lies,” Greenblatt explained from the TCA stage at the Beverly Hills Hilton. “And she’s pregnant.”
The good news is, we should find out what other actress is going to play Peter soon enough, as the casting process is still moving along sans Bell. “It’s been tricky finding the right person to fit the schedule, but we’re actually close,” Greenblatt said Saturday.
Fingers double crossed they are considering Tony-nominated actress and fall comedy star Cristin Milioti, formerly of How I Met Your Mother, for the part. Like Bell, she’s a smaller girl and thus could pull off the eternal youth of Pan. Also, anyone who saw her sing “La Vie En Rose” on HIMYM, or perform as Girl in the Broadway version of Once, can attest that her voice doesn’t need the help of pixie dust to fly.
But that said, considering that an HIMYM joke–“Will she die?” one journalist said of Milioti’s character on fall comedy A to Z--made at the executive session before the scrum went right over the heads of Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke and alternative and late night programming head Paul Telegdy, she might never make it to Neverland at all.
UPDATE: JULY 13, 5:02 P.M. PT
Cinefilles spoke to Milioti during a press scrum following a panel for A to Z and she seemed very, very open to being involved in the NBC live musical game. “Oh my god, I would love to!” Milioti said excitedly when Cinefilles asked about her possible involvement with any of the network’s song-and-dance projects.
What’s more, she would be into playing Peter too. “Have them call me!” she joked at the suggestion that she take the part, before adding, more seriously, “I would love to. That sounds amazing.”
Emily is covering the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour live from the Beverly Hills Hilton from June 12 – 22. Tune in every day for new pieces and follow her tweets at @Cinefilles and @emilygagne.