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Meron & Zadan Talk PETER PAN Emergency Plans; Upcoming A FEW GOOD MEN Live & More!

In an all-new interview in today's THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, PETER PAN LIVE executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan talk about emergency plans for tonight's live broadcast as well as their thoughts on their next upcoming TV project, a live telecast of the prize winning drama A FEW GOOD MEN.

"If anything goes wrong, they'd just be suspended in air. They wouldn't drop. So that's the very worst," says Meron of the possibility of a flying mishap on tonight's show. "This is not Spider-Man," he quips, referring to the Broadway production centering on the webbed superhero which was plagued with technical difficulties.

Asked about the casting of Christopher Walken in the iconic role of Captain Hook, Zadan shares, "We knew Chris because we produced Hairspray and he played John Travolta's husband, and we knew that he was a song-and-dance man. And actually, his agent suggested him. The only stipulation that he had was, "I'll do it if you let me dance."

Speaking on the challenge of casting for PETER PAN, Zadan comments, "If we were doing Peter Pan as a movie for TV the way we did Cinderella [in 1997], you'd have people lining up because everybody wants to play the part. But once you say it's live, the line disappears. We're living in an age of AutoTuning, and people knowing that if you're doing a movie you can fix it. So there are a lot of people who are scared to death about going out on live television because if you sing flat it's flat, if the tempo is off the tempo is off."

Regarding the recently announced live broadcast of Aaron Sorkin's "A Few Good Men," Meron reveals, "A lot of it is cast-dependent. When you have an actor that would want to do it, you have to work out schedules, so it's kind of hard to say what the next one is. And it's not a Christmas show. What we would do next Christmas is another live musical event. NBC has optioned Music Man, but it could be something else."

Adds Zadan, "If we do A Few Good Men, it would be done somewhere else in the year. To do a live drama would be another experiment for us, and it wouldn't be as costly because you don't have these rehearsals and the dancers, the orchestra and the choreography. The costs shrink, so you don't have to do 22 million viewers. You can do a lot fewer viewers and still be profitable on a project like that."

Asked how they chose to take on that particular drama, Meron says, "When the idea was brought to us, we thought it was a great title, that there were great roles to cast and that it was in the public consciousness to a certain degree but not enough where people got sick of it. Then we met with Aaron Sorkin, and he said to us that he's always wanted to finish the play." Adds Zadan, "The other aspect of it is that there are a lot of plays that could be, shall we say, dull on TV. I think that a staple of television that always excites an audience is a courtroom drama. There are the fireworks that happen in a courtroom that are just explosive."

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Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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