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Bryan Cranston Set To Play Howard Beale In London Stage Adaptation Of ‘Network’

Deadline logo Deadline 1/26/2017 Erik Pedersen
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UK theatergoers apparently are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. But they’re going to get it anyway. Bryan Cranston is set to play Howard Beale in Lee Hall’s adaptation of the classic 1976 film Network for the National Theatre in November. Belgian stage helmer Ivo van Hove, who’s been striking lightning on stages in the UK and New York, is set to direct. Cranston won the best actor Tony Award for his portrayal of Lyndon Johnson in All The Way. Van Hove won the best direction Tony for his staging of Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge.

Paddy Chayefsky won an Original Screenplay Oscar for the film that starred Peter Finch as Beale, TV newscaster who becomes unhinged by the degradation of “news” but whose network turns around and exploits his rants for profit. The film also won three others Oscars — for lead actor Finch, lead actress Faye Dunaway and supporting actress Beatrice Straight — among its 10 total noms but lost Best Picture to Rocky.

Cranston won four Emmys for playing Walter White in AMC’s Breaking Bad and scored an Oscar nom for his title role in 2015’s Trumbo. He stars on Amazon’s new drama Sneaky Pete — which recently was renewed for a second season — and his other recent credits include Why Him?, The Infiltrator, the HBO telepic All the Way and the Crackle toon SuperMansion. 

Hall wrote the screenplays for Billy Elliot and War Horse and also has written a dozen plays including The Pitmen Painters, which had a brief Broadway run in 2010. He also penned the book and lyrics for the Broadway adaptation of Billy Elliot: The Musical that ran from 2008-12. He won a Tony for that show’s book.

Van Hove also won an Olivier Award for A View From the Bridge and a pair of Obies for More Stately Mansions (1997) and Hedda Gabler (2005).

UK entertainment journalist Baz Bamigboye first reported the news on Twitter.

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