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Clive Owen Cast in Julie Taymor’s Broadway ‘M. Butterfly’

Variety logo Variety 1/30/2017 Gordon Cox
© Provided by Variety

Clive Owen will team with director Julie Taymor on a new Broadway production of “M. Butterfly,” the 1988 play about a romance between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer, which playwright David Henry Hwang will update with new material.

“M. Butterfly” will mark Taymor’s return to Broadway after “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” the ambitious 2011 superhero musical from which she was eventually fired over the course of the project’s famously rocky development. Her production of Disney megasmash “The Lion King” is still running on Broadway and around world, and in 2013 her Off Broadway staging of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” earned strong reviews.

Owen will make his Broadway return after starring in the Roundabout Theater Company’s 2015 revival of Harold Pinter’s “Old Times.” In “M. Butterfly,” he’ll star as Rene Gallimard, the character based on a real-life diplomat who had a 20-year love affair with a mysterious Chinese opera singer. The original 1988 Broadway production of the play starred John Lithgow and B.D. Wong.

For the new revival, Hwang will update his play based on historical material that has come to light in the 30 years since he first wrote the script.

Produced by Nelle Nugent (“The Trip to Bountiful”), Steve Traxler (“Fiddler on the Roof”), Kenneth Teaton, Benjamin Feldman and Doug Morris (who is the CEO of Sony Music), “M. Butterfly” is set to open Oct. 26 at a theater yet to be announced. Full casting and further details have not yet been set.

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