It’s finally official. We’ve known for a while now that NBC was planning to put on another live TV musical after the massive ratings hit that was The Sound of Music Live. I don’t think they really care what percentage of the audience was actually just hate-watching it; it got viewers and that’s what matters. Now NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt has released a statement at the Television Critics Association press tour announcing that the next live performance will be Peter Pan.
“In the hopes that lightning strikes twice, we think we’ve landed on another great Broadway musical — which ironically also starred Mary Martin — that is a timeless classic for all audiences, young and old, who just never want to grow up.”
I can just imagine what kind of wire-related mishaps might happen during this production, but apparently NBC is willing to take the risk. So naturally all we can do now is speculate about who will be cast. Going by the same trends we saw in Sound of Music — a mixture of mainstream stars, Broadway vets and up-and-comers — I’ve come up with a few fool-proof casting choices to make this show a hit. Listen up, NBC.
PETER PAN: Miley Cyrus or Niall Horan
Peter Pan is traditionally played on stage by a woman. When asked who would play Peter in this version, Greenblatt joked that he wants Miley Cyrus. At first I scoffed at the idea, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. She’s got the fame for starters, but there’s also the boyish style and the spunky personality. And as much as her nude shenanigans distract us from it, the girl can sing. Good or bad, you would totally watch it.
This is a show for a TV audience, so NBC might not necessarily go the traditional route. In fact, Greenblatt later hinted that that they’re likely to cast a male performer in the role. If Miley Cyrus is perfect as the female version, the clear choice for the male side of things is Niall Horan from One Direction. They already have the same haircut. Plus, Niall’s bursting with charm. Just look at him.
WENDY DARLING: Ariana Grande
There’s no denying Ariana’s got incredible pipes and an innocent charm, and her devoted fanbase would all tune in. Plus, if we’re casting Miley or Niall as Peter, she fits right into that age bracket.
JOHN AND MICHAEL DARLING: Lennon and Maisy Stella
If we’re bucking tradition and having a guy play Peter, why not make Michael and John into Michelle and Jean? In case you’re not familiar, Lennon and Maisy are sisters and YouTube sensations who play Connie Britton’s daughters on Nashville. Just look at them. Lennon already has the glasses.
CAPTAIN HOOK: Richard Armitage
You might know him best as Thorin Oakenshield in the Hobbit movies, but Richard Armitage has played a wide array of dark and brooding characters. He’s also got a beautifully deep singing voice that he showed off in the first Hobbit. Plus some man candy couldn’t hurt.
SMEE: Nathan Lane
The GIF above might not be the best illustration of Nathan Lane’s credentials to play Smee, but we know he can sing and is comfortable on stage. He’s also proven himself to be perfect in comic relief roles. He’d bring some Broadway legitimacy to the table.
MRS. DARLING: Kristin Chenoweth
What’s a musical without Kristin Chenoweth? I mean, really. She’d probably break down the door trying to get in. Her voice is already very “darling” as it is, so it fits.
TIGER LILY: Samantha Barks
Obviously it would be best to get an actual Native American actress for this part, but if all else fails I suggest Miss Barks, who was fantastic as Eponine in Les Miserables. She’s got an ethnically ambiguous look and a spunk that could work for the role.
If you’re wondering where Tinkerbell is, in the stage play she’s just a light effect, so no actress need be cast.