Bryan Cranston Set For Mad-As-Hell Role With Broadway Transfer Of Ivo Van Hove’s ‘Network’


Bryan Cranston will bring his Olivier Award-winning performance of mad-as-hell Howard Beale to New York in November when director Ivo Van Hove’s acclaimed London production of Network transfers to Broadway.

The transfer, with Cranston intact, was announced today by producers David Binder, the National Theatre, Patrick Myles, David Luff, Ros Povey and Lee Menzies.

Adapted by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) from Paddy Chayefsky’s Oscar-winning 1976 film, Network will begin previews at the Cort Theatre Saturday, Nov. 10, with an official opening set for Thursday, Dec. 6. Additional casting will be announced soon, the producers said.

The production will mark the Broadway return of the Breaking Bad actor, who won a 2014 best actor Tony Award for his performance as Lyndon B. Johnson in the play All The Way.

Van Hove, whose Broadway productions include transformative interpretations of A View From The Bridge and The Crucible, will be joined on Network by video designer Tal Yarden (who worked with Van Hove on the David Bowie musical Lazarus), costume designer An D’Huys (A View From The Bridge), with music and sound by Eric Sleichim (Van Hove’s staging of The Damned).

And as customary for Van Hove, Jan Versweyveld will handle the scenic and lighting design, continuing a 30-plus year collaboration between the two.

“We are excited as hell to bring Ivo van Hove’s brilliantly innovative and electrifying production of Network to Broadway this fall,” said the producers. “The incomparable Bryan Cranston brings Howard Beale to brilliant life and we are so thrilled for American audiences to have the opportunity to experience his masterful performance and this spectacular new play.”

Beale, of course, is the anchorman crossing the verge of a nervous breakdown with an on-air mental collapse that brings high ratings, a populist following, a shocking climax and an enduring catchphrase in “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

The film was directed by Sidney Lumet, and starred Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch and Beatrice Straight. Dunaway, Finch and Straight won Oscars – posthumously for Finch, who had performed what would become a classic Hollywood scene of defiance with the “mad as hell” speech.

The stage adaptation had its world premiere at the National Theatre in London from November 4, 2017 through March 24, 2018. Cranston won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor for his Beale performance; the production was nominated for Best New Play, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.

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