“American Idol” darling Carrie Underwood has been tapped to play one of the most idolized characters in pop-culture history — Maria von Trapp.
Underwood will star as the beloved governess to an Austrian widower’s seven children in NBC’s adaptation of “The Sound of Music,” it was announced Friday.
The live three-hour broadcast, based on the Broadway version of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron of “Smash” (which stars another “Idol” alum, Katharine McPhee). It is expected to air sometime around Christmas of next year.
“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,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, in a statement.
The network appears to have no qualms about casting the “Idol” alum in the legendary part.
“She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist,” Greenblatt said. The iconic character was first played on Broadway in 1960 by Mary Martin and then by Julie Andrews in the 1965 film version, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year.
Underwood, 29, became one of America’s sweethearts and a country singing sensation after winning Season 4 of “American Idol” in 2005.