James Earl Jones has signed on to play a former U.S. President in an election-year Broadway revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, according to The New York Times. Jones, who is currently starring in the Broadway revival of Driving Miss Daisy, will play Arthur Hockstader, who is torn between endorsing two potential presidential candidates. The previously announced revival is aiming for a spring 2012 Broadway opening at a theater to be determined, directed by Michael Wilson.
Vidal’s 1960 political drama centers on power, ambition, political secrets and ruthless behavior surrounding a race for the presidency. A 2000 revival featured Charles Durning in the part to be played by Jones, with Chris Noth as the title candidate, Elizabeth Ashley, Charles Durning, Christine Ebersole, Spalding Gray and Michael Learned. No other casting for the 2012 revival has been announced.
The Best Man will be revived on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Eagle Productions and Infinity Stages.