The 1976 Aaron Sorkin-adored black comedy film, Network, is being adapted for London’s National Theatre and Bryan Cranston will star as the TV news anchor going mad, Henry Beale. The play will be an adaptation of the Oscar-winning screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky and it will undoubtedly be a hit. “Why?” you ask? For anyone unfamiliar with Network, it’s a twisted satire about a man who has a breakdown on TV, stoked by his ratings-chasing TV network. And for anyone unfamiliar with Bryan Cranston, he does a great man-on-the-edge-of-a-meltdown.
Network comments on the blurred lines between news and entertainment (relevant) and shows what happens when a ratings-focused news network gives an extremely angry man a platform (also relevant). While there is a great deal of holding of a mirror to society involved in the film, it’s undoubtedly hilarious due to Beale’s unabashed rage. Watch one of the most famous scenes:
Bryan Cranston will absolutely nail the soaking wet and fed up anchorman as he delivers the iconic line, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” And he will likely perfectly execute a deadpan delivery of, “I don’t have to tell you things are bad, everybody knows things are bad.” In fact, Will Ferrell might lose its title as Best Anchorman Portrayal Ever (HelloGiggles Awards, anyone?).
All of the dark comedy lovers out there will likely want to see Network, which debuts at London’s National Theatre in November. Hopefully a film remake starring Cranston is also in the works too, if ever there were a perfect time for Network to re-emerge into cultural prominence, it’s most likely right now.