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Bryan Cranston to star in London stage adaptation of “Network”

Bryan Cranston will bring a classic of 1970s cinema to life on stage later this year when he stars in the first stage adaptation of Sidney Lumet’s film “Network.”

Cranston will star as unhinged broadcast journalist Howard Beale -- the role made famous by Peter Finch in Lumet’s film -- when the production opens later this month at London’s National Theatre. Ivo Van Hove is directing an adaptation by “Billy Elliott” writer Lee Hall.

“Network” will mark the London theater debut of Cranston, who won a Tony for playing Lyndon B. Johnson in “All the Way.”

Lumet’s film was a biting satire of the devolving culture of television news, with Finch starring opposite Faye Dunaway. The film earned four Oscars, including trophies for Finch and Dunaway as well as screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky. The film lost out on Best Picture to “Rocky.” 

Finch, who died in 1977, became the first actor to win an Academy Award posthumously. 

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