EXCLUSIVE: Tony winner Scarlett Johansson has now been set to return to Broadway to star as Maggie in a new production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, and Ciarán Hinds has been set to play Big Daddy, Benjamin Walker is going to play Brick, and Tony/Emmy winner Debra Monk will play Big Mama. The revival of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer classic will be directed by Rob Ashford, and will begin preview performances Tuesday, December 18 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on West 46th Street for a January 17 opening night. Stuart Thompson is producing.

“Big Daddy” Pollitt, the richest cotton planter in the Mississippi Delta, is about to celebrate his 65th birthday. He is distressed by the rocky relationship between his beloved son Brick, an aging football hero who has turned to drink, and his beautiful and feisty wife Maggie. As the hot summer evening unfolds, the veneer of Southern gentility slips away as unpleasant truths emerge and greed, lies and suppressed sexuality reach a boiling point.

Now, the cat has been out of the bag for a while on Johansson, who returns to Broadway after her Tony-winning turn in Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge. The surprise is that the Tony-winning Ashford will direct a core cast that is the caliber of the one Mike Nichols had in Death Of A Salesman. Hinds, besides his TV turn as Julius Caesar in HBO’s Rome and in Steven Spielberg’s Munich, has stage credits including Closer, The Seafarer and the Sam Mendes-directed Assassins and Richard III. Julliard grad Walker drew raves for starring onstage in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and most recently played the title character in the Timur Bekmambetov-directed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and will next be seen in HBO’s Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight.

Monk has been Tony-nominated for Curtains, Picnic, Steel Pier, Pump Boys And Dinettes, and she won for Redwood Curtain. She won an Emmy for NYPD Blue and currently plays a recurring character on Glee.