According to Variety, Aaron Eckhart (another actor with a burgeoning movie career, in films like “Paycheck,” where he played opposite Ben Affleck) has been cast as the teacher who so provokes his pupil. The show, reportedly budgeted at £275,000, begins rehearsals in London on March 15, with the leads having been contracted for 13 weeks.
Also in place is Lindsay Posner to direct, and the production is thought likely to play at the Garrick Theatre. Posner directed 2003’s financially successful production of Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago, which starred Minnie Driver, Hank Azaria, Kelly Reilly and Matthew Perry.
Co-producing will be Edward Snape, and Out of the Blue, the production company which recently presented Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth with rolling casts of young movie stars. According to Out of the Blue’s Clare Lawrence, Stiles was among those being wooed to appear in the Lonergan play. However, it didn’t sustain business past its fourth London cast (having already showcased the likes of Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal).
Stiles is one of the young movie actresses being hyped as a big star for the future. Currently filming “The Bourne Supremacy,” she previously starred in its prequel, “The Bourne Identity,” as well as Shakespeare movie adaptations “Ten Things I Hate About You” (The Taming of the Shrew), “O” (Othello) and “Hamlet.” She started her career on stage, with stints at New York’s La Mama Theatre and Kitchen Theatre. And, in 2002 Teen People named her one of their “25 Hottest Stars Under 25.”
The first London production of Oleanna starred David Suchet and Lia Williams. Rebecca Pidgeon and William H.Macy did it Off-Broadway, while the movie version featured Macy and Debra Eisenstadt.