Bruce Willis Gets New, Emmy-Winning Co-Star for Broadway's Misery; Dates and Theatre Set

News   Bruce Willis Gets New, Emmy-Winning Co-Star for Broadway's Misery; Dates and Theatre Set Three-time Emmy Award winner Laurie Metcalf has replaced Elizabeth Marvel as leading lady in the forthcoming Broadway adaptation of Stephen King's Misery opposite Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Bruce Willis.

Laurie Metcalf
Laurie Metcalf Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

She will play the role of the obsessed fan played in the 1990 film adaptation by Kathy Bates, a performance that won Bates the Oscar as Best Actress. A production statement said Marvel withdrew owing to "scheduling conflicts."

Metcalf earned her most recent Tony nomination in 2013, playing the lead in Sharr White's The Other Place. She was also nominated in 2009 for her performance in November. Metcalf earned all three of her Emmy Awards for her work on the TV series “Roseanne,” currently stars in HBO’s “Getting On,” and has a recurring role on “The Big Bang Theory."

Directed By Will Frears, the limited 16-week engagement begins previews Oct. 22 and opens Nov. 15 at the Broadhurst Theatre. The new play has a script by Academy Award winner (and "The Season" author) William Goldman, based on King's novel. The show is being produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures.

Tickets are not yet on sale.

Here's how it's billed: "Successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon (Willis) is rescued from a car crash by his 'Number One Fan,' Annie Wilkes (Metcalf), and wakes up captive in her secluded home. While Paul is convalescing, Annie reads the manuscript to his newest novel and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. Annie forces Paul to write a new 'Misery' novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere. The irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it, and if he does not make her deadline, it will." Goldman's ("The Princess Bride") film adaptation of "Misery," was directed by Rob Reiner and released in 1990, starring James Caan and Kathy Bates (who won an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for her performance as Annie Wilkes).

Goldman has had a distinguished career in Hollywood. His other screenplays include "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) and "All the President's Men," both of which won Oscars.

Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis

However, Goldman, 83, is perhaps best known around Broadway for his scathing expose, "The Season," a book that captured the Broadway theatre industry at its nadir in the 1967-68 season. Misery will be Goldman's first return to writing for Broadway since the 65-performance failure of his 1962 musical A Family Affair, co-written with his brother James Goldman and composer John Kander, which ran just 65 performances despite a cast of notables, Larry Kert, Rita Gardner, Eileen Heckart, Morris Carnovsky and Shelley Berman.

Goldman made his Broadway debut in 1961 with Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole, which ran just two months with a cast that included Darren McGavin, John McMartin and Peter Fonda.

Misery will have set design by David Korins (Motown), lighting design by David Weiner (The Normal Heart) and sound design by Tony Award winner Darron West (Peter and the Starcatcher). Casting is by Telsey + Company/William Cantler, CSA.

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Misery will be produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures (Mark Kaufman), Castle Rock Entertainment (Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer) and Raymond Wu.

The play made its world premiere at Bucks County Playhouse in the fall of 2012. Check out Playbill.com's story on that production.

This project is not Goldman's first flirtation with the stage since The Season, however. For several years he worked with composer Adam Guettel on a musical version of The Princess Bride until they parted ways. Disney picked up the option for a stage version and said, as late as fall 2014, that it remains attached to the project.

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