In every actor’s life, there is a moment when they are called to the stage, a venue where, many think, the true quality of acting is found and delivered. Of course, no one would ever conflate Bruce Willis with the upper-seats of acting royalty like, say, Sir Laurence Olivier, but it seems that even John McClane can’t escape the siren song of the Great White Way, and he will soon be taking to the Broadway stage hismelf. But role could possibly speak to Willis loud enough to make him go out on the proverbial ledge like this: Hamlet? Willy Loman (Death of a Salesman)? Stanley Kowalski (A Streetcar Named Desire)? How about Paul Sheldon. You now, the victimized author under the mercy of a crazed fan in Stephen King‘s Misery.

Following on the trend of stage works being adapted from popular movies (in this case, which itself, was based on a popular book), Misery will be coming to New York’s theater district later this year, and it will feature Willis as Sheldon in his Broadway debut. The play will be staged at the Bucks County Playhouse sometime this fall for what’s being billed as a “limited engagement” run.

Misery is based on the 1987 King novel which was turned into the 1990 movie directed by Rob Reiner. In the story, novelist Sheldon (who is played by James Caan in the movie) is saved from a car wreck by Annie Wilkes, who is Sheldon’s biggest fan until she reads his latest manuscript in which he kills off her beloved main character, Misery Chastain. Annie goes nuts and tortures Sheldon until he agrees to write a new book in which Misery is resurrected. Like the movie that gave Kathy Bates an Oscar for playing Annie, the script for the play will be written by famed screenwriter William Goldman (The Princess Bride).


So who will be playing Annie? Why it will be Elizabeth Marvel who you may recognize as Frank Underwood’s presidential rival Heather Dunbar in the third season of House of Cards. You may also recognize her as Alicia Corwin from the first season of Person of Interest, or any one of numerous New York-shot TV series currently on the air. Whether or not she’ll be able to out-psycho Bates in her most famous role is a question we’ll leave for theater critics to answer when the play opens later this year.

So why the pivot to Broadway for Willis? I don’t want to speak for the actor, but his last two movies, Vice and The Prince, I had never heard of until I just now looked up his IMDb for this story. Maybe he’s trying to shake the direct-to-DVD stink he seems to be cultivating with those two “hits.” Whatever the reason though, it’s an interesting move for Willis, who has never been terribly shy when it comes to taking a risk with his career. Many of fans will be looking to see if this new gamble will pay off for him.

Source: Ain’t it Cool

Category: Nerd Culture

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