First produced on television as part of CBS' "Studio One" series in 1954, the Reginald Rose work was then expanded into the full length 1957 feature film, directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam and Jack Klugman. The cable network Showtime remade "12 Angry Men" in 1997. The ethnically diverse cast included Courtney B. Vance, Ossie Davis, George C. Scott, Armin Mueller Stahl, Dorian Harewood, James Gandolfini, Tony Danza, Jack Lemmon, Hume Cronyn, Mykelti Williamson, Edward James Olmos and William L. Petersen.
The drama, set in a jury room, tells the story of a murder trial in which a youth is alleged to have killed his father. The case seems like an open-and-shut situation as eleven of the unnamed jurors believe the defendant to be guilty. Juror #8, however, is not so certain, stirring up the room and setting off a number of arguments.
The staging of the play, though a popular work of drama, would mark the first Broadway production.
Ellis, who serves as an associate artistic director at Roundabout, has directed Broadway stagings of The Boys From Syracuse, Arthur Miller's The Man Who Had All the Luck, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Rainmaker, 1776, She Loves Me, Picnic and A Month in the Country. Other credits include The Waverly Gallery, The Dog Problem, That Championship Season and the NYC Opera staging of A Little Night Music.
Other productions already slated for the 2004-2005 season at Roundabout include Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Pacific Overtures, Arthur Miller's drama After the Fall and a Wallace Shawn adaptation of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera.