'Of Mice and Men' Broadway production will star James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Franco said he and O'Dowd will star in the show with Anna Shapiro of 'August: Osage County' directing.

L: David Azia/AP Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP R:
'Of Mice and Men' will star Chris O'Dowd (l.) and James Franco (r.).

“Of Mice and Men” – based on John Steinbeck's classic 1937 novel – will be returning to Broadway with actors James Franco and Chris O’Dowd starring, according to Franco.

Franco discussed the project during a question-and-answer session at Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre earlier this week and named O’Dowd as his co-star as well as “August: Osage County” director Anna Shapiro as the director for their production, according to the website Broadway.com.

According to The New York Times, Franco will play George, while O’Dowd will portray Lennie. Both Franco and O’Dowd would be making their Broadway debuts.

Franco did not mention a premiere date for the show, but NYT writer Patrick Healy posited that the show could start previews in March and debut officially in April.

Shapiro won a Tony Award in 2008 for her work on “August” and directed the 2011 production of “The Mother------ with the Hat.”

Franco recently starred in the movies “Oz the Great and Powerful” and “This Is the End,” while O’Dowd appeared in “Bridesmaids” and starred on the TV series “Family Tree,” which aired on HBO in the US.

Previous Broadway productions opened in 1937 and 1974, with actor James Earl Jones portraying Lennie in the 1974 version.

A film adaptation was released in 1939 starring Lon Chaney, Jr. and Burgess Meredith and a 1992 version was directed by and starred actor Gary Sinise, who played George alongside John Malkovich as Lennie.

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