NBC Approached Kristen Bell to Star in Peter Pan Live!

Kristen Bell Peter Pan Live!

This would’ve been some seriously fly casting.

NBC approached Kristen Bell to play the title role in Peter Pan Live!but, alas, it was not meant to be.

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“She is somebody I talked to about doing it, and she was interested, but she’s doing [Showtime]‘s House of Lies,” NBC president Robert Greenblatt told reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “We’ve had several women who wanted to do it but they’re either busy or their schedules don’t work… I need that person from August 5 to December 5, so that locks out the Kristen Bells of the world.”

Bell’s real-life pregnancy also would’ve made playing the high-flying character a challenge, although Greenblatt said he “talked to her before” her baby news was announced in June. (Bell charmed viewers with her multi-talents in May’s Maya Rudolph variety special on NBC.)

“It’s been tricky finding the right person in the schedule that we needed, but we’re close,” he added. “And it’s going to be a female.”

Peter Pan Live! is slated to premiere in December.

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31 Comments
  1. Michael says:

    At least it will be a female…wasn’t there a rumor for a while they wanted a boy? Interesting to know all their first choices are off the table. Whoever gets hired will know they were second choice from the get-go. I wish they were doing something other than Peter Pan. We’ve had so many recordings of this show already.

  2. Ian says:

    Are they casting females in the role for the kitsch factor?
    I know females played the role way back when, but I see no reason why they shouldn’t be looking for young male actors now.
    Would they be hiring men to play women now because women weren’t allowed to be actors centuries ago? I don’t think so.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Per Robert Greenblatt: “We were talking about maybe doing it with a man at one point…. It’s going to be a female.”

    • JohnD says:

      The role is written and voiced for a woman, and the play is written in a style to support that choice (including Mysterious Lady being there to showcase a female “legit” voice).

  3. TW2 says:

    Two words. Chris Colfer.

  4. Drew says:

    I know that the play always called for a woman to play the role. But that is stage. This is screen. I really think that they should cast a boy… And it would be nice if it were a newbie. I liked the fact that The Sound of Music wasn’t cast entirely with old pros.

    • Davey Elmer says:

      “I know that the play always called for a woman to play the role. But that is stage. This is screen.”

      This IS the play (in musical form as opposed to the original Barrie production); it’s just being filmed and broadcast LIVE!

      • Drew says:

        Yes. Live… On screen. The reason why it works on stage is because the audience is far away. Looks can be exaggerated, acting can be exaggerated. But this is not stage. If the actors were to act like they would for stage, they would look ridiculous. This is a hybrid production. We are up close as the actors are performing. It isn’t simply a filmed stage production by any means, and shouldn’t be treated as one.

        • Davey Elmer says:

          “It isn’t simply a filmed stage production by any means.”

          Yes, It is. It’s going to be exactly like The Sound of Music…. a live on-stage performance of Peter Pan broadcast as its being performed.

    • Boy…Girl…as long as they can sing AND act well, I don’t care. Carrie’s voice was top notch in SoM, but her acting was almost unwatchable.

  5. Chris says:

    May I suggest Jane Levy (“Suburgatory”) for the role of Peter Pan?

  6. CK says:

    I’m glad that they are going with a female. I thought I was going to have eye roll/drink my way through either a child actor playing the lead role or a grown man playing a boy (Rolf 2.0).

    • Drew says:

      Why would you eye roll your way through a boy playing a boy, but not a 30-something woman playing a young boy?

    • Luli says:

      They are looking for the Peter Pan role, right?

      • Davey Elmer says:

        Yes. In most stage adaptations, including the very first production in 1904, the role is filled by a woman or girl in male drag.

        This is especially true of this particular musical adaptation, which was written in 1954 specifically for Mary Martin, who originated the titular role on Broadway and the three broadcasts of the musical aired by NBC in 1955, 1956, and 1960.

  7. Essie says:

    Why not Once Upon a Time’s Robbie Kay who played Pan… He was fantastic.

  8. Davey Elmer says:

    Knowing that Greenblatt wanted Kristen, my pick for the role of Peter is Anne Hathaway. She’s Kristen’s age, has theater experience, is a terrific actress, and doesn’t have any commitments that would prevent her from doing the role.

  9. Moment says:

    Kristen Bell would be a smart choice, she also has theatre experience. And they could draw a large audience by mentioning she also voiced Anna in one of Disneys highest grossing movies of all time.

  10. Liz says:

    Friggen love they are going the Mary Martin route.

  11. Brooke says:

    I’m amused at the comments I’ve seen across the internet expressing shock or dismay that they’d cast a woman in this role. Know your history, people!

    • Davey Elmer says:

      I know, right.

      With this production in particular, Greenblatt would’ve been breaking the mold in casting a MALE actor in the role, so choosing to cast a female actor in the role is actually keeping with the tradition of the production.

  12. Margaery says:

    Even as a kid I never liked that it was a woman pretending to be a boy in Peter Pan. It made the whole thing seem even more fake.
    I’ll pass on this one. I’m more interested in who they cast in The Music Man- which is also a far better show.

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