After appearing as the affable Rhodes in the 2011 hit film Bridesmaids, actor Chris O'Dowd's star has been on the rise, and now it looks like the actor will make his Broadway debut opposite Oscar nominee James Franco in Of Mice and Men. According to The New York Times, Franco will play George and O'Dowd is "still in negotiations" to play Lennie in the previously reported revival. Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County) is confirmed to direct the production. If a theater is secured, performances should begin in March.
In addition to Bridesmaids, O'Dowd's TV and film credits include Gulliver's Travels, Friends with Kids, Moone Boy, This Is 40, Girls, Epic, Family Tree, The IT Crowd and the upcoming Marvel sequel Thor: The Dark World.
Adapted from John Steinbeck's novel of the same name, Of Mice and Men is set in California during the Great Depression, and follows two migrant workers George (Franco), a sharp but uneducated, short-tempered man, and Lennie (O'Dowd), a large but simple-minded man. Together they hope to one day acquire their own piece of land. But when Lennie stirs up trouble on the job, George must choose between protecting his friend or staying the course towards his version of the American dream.
Of Mice and Men first played Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in 1937, starring Wallace Ford and Broderick Crawford as George and Lennie. The play was revived in 1974 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, starring James Earl Jones and Kevin Conway.