As previously reported, Academy Award nominee James Franco ("Milk," "Howl," "Spider-Man") previously stated that he planned to star as George in a Broadway revival of the classic play. "We're going to do Of Mice and Men on Broadway," the actor told television host Stephen Colbert in March.
Shapiro (August: Osage County), who is currently represented with the Lincoln Center Theater world premiere of Bruce Norris' Domesticated, will helm the revival that is aiming for a March 22, 2014, start of previews with an opening around April 17. The production is scheduled as a limited engagement through July 27.
The Times reports that O'Dowd ("Bridesmaids," "This Is 40") is in negotiations to play Lennie. An equity casting notice for the production states that the central roles of George and Lennie have already been cast.
Based on his 1937 novel of the same title, Steinbeck penned the stage adaptation that premiered on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre the same year it was released. It was revived in 1974.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.