Bryan Cranston to Get Mad as Hell, Not Take It Anymore for Stage Revival of ‘Network’
Public opinion has swayed back and forth on Network in the decades since its release in 1976. To its many fans, the film’s cynical take on the feedback loop between the media and the outraged public has remained freakishly prescient, all but predicting the rise of the frothy-mouthed ravings that now cover the internet. To others, Paddy Chayefsky’s script went too broad, denouncing vague evils while indulging in fits of self-righteousness that have presently trickled down to the lesser works of Aaron Sorkin. As with pretty much any movie, it comes down to a matter of taste, but there’s no denying that Sidney Lumet’s film retains a troubling relevance in today’s cultural and political climate. We are indeed mad as hell, and so long as the option exists, we’d prefer to not take it anymore.
What better time then for an onstage revival of the classic film? The New York Times reported last week that in a new theatrical adaptation of the film set for a run in London later this year, none other than Bryan Cranston will take over the Howard Beale role originated by Peter Finch. Acclaimed dramatist Ivo van Hove has been tapped to direct the production, giving new life to the crackling story of one network TV station exploitatively overhauling its programming in the wake of an anchor’s on-air meltdown. The script won’t migrate from the screen to the proscenium entirely unchanged, either; Billy Elliot screenwriter Lee Hall has been credited with adapting Chayefsky‘s original screenplay.
The show has slated an opening date in November at London’s National Theatre, and tickets for this high-profile production are sure to fly. Brace yourself for a whole lot of cries of “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” from the rush line when they run out of seats.