Monday, June 17, 2024

Bryan Cranston Bringing “Network” to Broadway: Walter White is Mad as Hell, And He’s Not Gonna Take it Anymore


Say it with me now: Bryan Cranston is bringing “Network” to Broadway this fall.

The famous Sidney Lumet movie written by Paddy Chayefsky starred Peter Finch, William Holden, and Faye Dunaway. But it was never staged. Now Cranston will play Howard Beale, the network anchor who snaps, in this adroit satire.

This is a National Theater production, directed by Ivo vanHove (who’s everywhere, everyone wants him on their shows) and adapted by Lee Hall.

The Lumet movie won four Oscars, by the way, for Finch, Dunaway, supporting actress Beatrice Straight, and for Chayefsky for Best Original Screenplay.

Cranston, once known as Dr. Tim Watley on “Seinfeld,” has a Tony award and a boat load of other statues for his fine work in all media. He will be terrific as Beale, particularly in the infamous rant below.

The big question is who will play Dunaway’s seethingly ambitious network executive Diana Christensen? I’ll bet Faye would like to do it herself! (She could!) But that role will be a juicy one.

(Just thinking about Sidney Lumet made me sad. Go back, see all his movies. He was a genius.)



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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