James Franco Confirms Chris O'Dowd to Costar in OF MICE AND MEN on Broadway
As BroadwayWorld reported last week, John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men will be heading to Broadway beginning (tentatively) Saturday, March 22, 2014, with an opening night slated for Thursday, April 17, 2014. The show is set to run through Sunday, July 27, 2014. The play will be directed by Anna D. Shapiro. James Franco has just confirmed in an interview with US Weekly that he will lead the production as 'George', and Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids, Girls) will costar as 'Lennie.' Additional casting has not yet been announced.
He told US Weekly: "I am going to do a play on Broadway. I am going to do Of Mice And Men with Chris O' Dowd, directed by this amazing director, Anna Shapiro, who won a Tony for the stage version of August: Osage County. So that will be my Broadway debut."
He continued: "As far as writing a play, I have this idea, I haven't been able to figure it out yet. I've done little versions of it, but I wanted to do a dramatic version of Three's Company. Those characters, the way it's so dated, and somehow, make it a drama. So, that's what I'd like to do. I know somebody's gonna steal that idea, but I get to meet with the Three's Company people so you don't have the rights to."
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Based on Novel Prize-winning author Steinbeck's 1937 novella, Of Mice and Men centers on Lennie Small and George Milton, two migrant ranch workers during the Great Depression in California.
The original Broadway production of Of Mice and Men premiered in 1937. The play was staged by George S. Kaufman with Broderick Crawford and Wallace Ford in the lead roles of Lennie and George, respectively. The play was later revived in 1974, directed by Edwin Sherin and featuring James Earl Jones and Kevin Conway in the starring roles.
Shapiro's Broadway directing credits include August: Osage County, for which she won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play, and 2011's The Motherf**ker with the Hat, for which she was also nominated for a Tony Award. She also helmed The Pain and the Itch, Iron and Trafficing in Broken Hearts off-Broadway.