Underwood has some big shoes to fill, following Julie Andrews' iconic portrayal of Maria in the original movie version of “The Sound of Music.” NBC is not planning a cinematic adaptation, though, as it will be returning “The Sound of Music” to its stage roots.
NBC plans to air the special during the 2013 holidays, the Hollywood Reporter said.
“The Sound of Music” began as a Broadway musical in 1959, with the music by Richard Rodgers and the lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The film version was even more popular, as it won five Academy Awards, including those for best picture, best director, best sound, and best music.
Robert Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, appeared glad to announce Underwood was the choice for Maria, saying, “Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn’t be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp,” according to Entertainment Weekly.
The stage production will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the Hollywood Reporter said. Zadan and Meron worked on both “Chicago” and “Hairspray,” while Zadan also was a producer of the original “Footloose” film. Zadan and Meron also have been executive producers of NBC's “Smash,” and they will produce the 2013 Academy Awards show.
Zadan and Meron indicated they are also excited to work with the Grammy Award-winning singer, with Access Hollywood quoting them as saying: “[H]aving Carrie Underwood as the star brings it to a new generation who will fall in love with it for the first time as many millions of people already have. It's a particular joy to us as producers to see this amazing artist stretch into new territory with this classic musical."
No other casting announcements have been made.
Underwood had some practice playing Maria von Trapp in CBS' 2007 special “Movies Rock!” A video of her performance of “The Sound of Music” appears below.