Johnson Replaces Grindley As Director of London's Rain Man

News   Johnson Replaces Grindley As Director of London's Rain Man The stage version of the 1988 Oscar-winning film "Rain Man," which will boast the West End debut of Hollywood actor Josh Hartnett, has had a change of director.
David Grindley has withdrawn as director of Rain Man
David Grindley has withdrawn as director of Rain Man Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The previously announced David Grindley has been replaced by Terry Johnson. A press statement says that "sadly [Grindley] had to withdraw for family reasons. . . Following discussions with David and members of the cast, all roads led to one director. We are lucky that Terry Johnson was able to step in."

Those roads are then itemized as follows:

  • Grindley is working with Johnson as he prepares to direct a new production of Johnson's play, Insignificance.
  • Co-star Adam Godley has worked closely with Johnson at the National Theatre in Cleo, Camping, Emmanuel and Dick and the ensuing film "Cor, Blimey!"
  • Hartnett met Johnson in New Zealand last year when Johnson was directing one film and Hartnett was starring in another.

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  • Cast member Mary Stockley met Johnson when she played the lead in his play Insignificance at Sheffield.
  • Cast member Colin Stinton was in the original West End cast of The Graduate, directed by Johnson at the Gielgud and also in the subsequent Broadway premiere.
  • Producer Nica Burns has worked with Johnson on a number of productions, including a previous West End stage version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and sponsored his play Piano/Forte at the Royal Court. The press statement adds, "The production schedule remains unchanged and all our good wishes go with David." Rain Man is scheduled to begin performances at the Apollo Theatre Aug. 28 prior to an official opening Sept. 9.

    Rain Man, which is currently booking through Dec. 20, has been re-imagined by writer Dan Gordon, and is reset in the present day.

    Hartnett will play Charlie Babbitt (originally played on screen by Tom Cruise) with British actor Adam Godley as his autistic savant older brother Raymond (originally played by Dustin Hoffman, who won the Best Actor in a Leading Role award).

    Raymond, who has been hidden in an institution for most of his adult life and is dysfunctional in many senses, is also touched with a kind of stellar genius, which his brother Charlie, an L.A.-based automobile dealer and hustler, harnesses to save his business. The two brothers embark on a rollercoaster journey together that shows Raymond a world beyond the hospital gates and Charlie the meaning of unconditional love.

    Hartnett, whose films include "Pearl Harbor," "Black Hawk Down," "30 Days of Night," "Virgin Suicides," "The Black Dahlia" and "Lucky Number Slevin," said in a previous press statement, "It has always been my intent to work on the London stage. While I've had many opportunities it was only when I read the complex and charismatic character of Charlie Babbitt that I knew the time was right. I feel very fortunate to make my London bow with such an esteemed producer and director and I'm also looking forward to working with Adam Godley, who is such an extraordinary talent. Can't wait to live and work in London a city I adore!"

    Godley was Olivier-nominated for his stage performances in Johnson's Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (National Theatre) and Kevin Elyot's Mouth to Mouth (Royal Court, subsequently transferring to the Albery). Other productions include Private Lives (West End and Broadway), Paul, The Pillowman and Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years (National Theatre). His film credits include Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and upcoming "X‐Files: I Want To Believe."

    Adaptor Dan Gordon has written 11 feature films, including "The Hurricane," "Wyatt Earp," "Murder in the First," "The Assignment" and "Passenger 57." His new play, Irena's Vow, is scheduled to open in New York in the fall. Other theatre credits include the stage adaptation of Terms of Endearment, which recently toured the U.K., and the stage adaptation of Murder in the First. His version of Rain Man is based on the MGM motion picture, which featured a screenplay by Barry Morrow.

    Rain Man is produced by Nica Burns, Jane Walmsley, Michael Braham, Max Weitzenhoffer in association with MGM ON STAGE, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber.

    To book tickets contact the box office at 0844 412 4658 or visit www.rainmanonstage.com.

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