It's official! James Franco (a.k.a. the real-life version of The Energizer Bunny), along with Bridesmaids' Chris O'Dowd are officially going to make their Broadway debuts. According to Us Weekly, Franco confirmed that he and O'Dowd are planning to play George and Lennie, respectively, in a previously reported Broadway revival of Of Mice and Men, directed by Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro. No timeline, other cast and creative team members or theater have been revealed for the production at this time.
During a live Q&A at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, California, on October 20, Franco said, "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." The actor/writer/director/professor/butcherbakercandlestickmaker also revealed that he knows the public has notions about his offbeat approach to performing. "As an actor, you are perceived through your roles. People read into you," he said. "Everyone thinks I'm a pothead. A lot of people think I'm gay. A lot of kids come up to me and say, 'Wow, your arm grew back.' So you're perceived through your characters."
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.