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'Peter Pan Live!' Starring Christopher Walken Picks its Tiger Lily: Alanna Saunders

The actress selected by NBC for the controversial Peter Pan role of Tiger Lily is reportedly of Cherokee descent.
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An upcoming musical production of Peter Pan, notably featuring Christopher Walken in the role of Captain Hook, has picked actress Alanna Saunders to play Tiger Lily. The show will be televised nationally on NBC on Thursday, December 4, as Peter Pan Live!. The network is hoping to duplicate the success of the 2013 production The Sound of Music Live!, which starred Carrie Underwood and drew over 18 million viewers.

In the musical, based on the book by J.M. Barrie, Tiger Lily is an American Indian princess who lives on an island in Neverland. (The character was also in the 1953 animated Disney film, but has no lines.)

A report at E! Online describes Saunders as being "a descendant of members of the Cherokee Nation," a development that tentatively pleases Sonny Skyhawk of American Indians in Film & Television, who lobbied NBC to cast a Native actress in the role.

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"Our stated concern and position at AIFT has been that if the role calls for a Native, then a Native person should be cast in that role, and until it is proven otherwise, NBC has met that concern," Skyhawk said in a Facebook post.

Skyhawk reports that the understudy for the role is Kathryn Terza, also said by NBC to be Native.

RELATED:NBC Seeks Native Actress for Live 'Peter Pan' With Christopher Walken