Deadline reports that actor Bryan Cranston will play Howard Beale in the upcoming stage adaptation of Network. The stage version of the 1976 film will play the National Theatre in London in November of this year. Tony and Olivier Award-winning director Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge, The Crucible) will direct, Playbill.com has confirmed.
Lee Hall will write the adaptation. He wrote the book and lyrics for Broadway’s Bill Elliot: The Musical, and won a Tony for his work.
The story follows Beale, “an unhinged TV newscaster whose network exploits his rants for profit.” In Paddy Chayefsky’s script, Beale’s memorable catchphrase was, “I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!” The film won four Academy Awards for Original Screenplay, Lead Actor Peter Finch, Lead Actress Faye Dunaway, and Supporting Actress Beatrice Straight. It lost to Rocky in the Best Picture category.
Cranston is a Tony Award winner for his portrayal of President Lyndon Baines Johnson in All The Way, a role he reprised for the HBO movie version of the play. He won four Emmys for his work as Walter White in AMC’s hit Breaking Bad. He currently stars on Amazon’s Sneaky Pete, which was just picked up for a second season.