Back in March we reported that James Franco was heading to Broadway with Of Mice and Men. Now according to The New York Times, he’s bringing Chris O’Dowd along with him for the ride. Franco will star as the authoritative George while Chris O’Dowd will be playing Lennie, George’s mentally disabled brother.
Of Mice and Men is a novel by John Steinbeck and later on the author adapted it for stage. The story is centered during The Great Depression, and focuses on migrant field workers George and Lennie. This is said to be the second time Of Mice and Men will be on the big stage. The first production was in 1974 and starred Kevin Conway and James Earl Jones. The original version ran from 1937 to 1938.
Franco and O’Dowd should have some interesting chemistry together. Both Franco and O’Dowd have acted in the same school of people under Judd Apatow productions. James Franco has appeared in Pineapple Express, and Knocked Up, while O’Dowd has appeared in Bridesmaids, and HBO’s Girls, both which were produced by Apatow.
In the past James Franco has expressed interest in doing theater, as that seems to be the only medium he hasn’t tackled yet. This isn’t the first time Franco has prepared for Broadway. The 127 Hours actor was supposed to star opposite Nicole Kidman in Sweet Bird of Youth, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. After he dropped out of Sweet Bird of Youth the play never made it to the stage.
So far the production Of Mice and Men hasn’t secured a Broadway theater, so it looks like this will be a show that opens in the spring, and not in the fall. Rehearsals for Of Mice and Men are expected to start in February. Previews for the show will probably start sometime in March, while opening night is said to be in April.
This will be the first time James Franco and Chris O’Dowd will take the stage, making Of Mice and Men their stage debut.