Josh Hartnett Will Do Rain Man on the London Stage

The Stage is reporting that Josh Hartnett, who hasn’t had a successful film in, like, ever, will soon be treading the boards in the West End. But he won’t be doing Ibsen, Chekhov, or Albee; he’ll be playing Charlie, the Tom Cruise role, in an adaptation of the Oscar-winning 1988 film, Rain Man.

Say whaaaat?

Thankfully, Dustin Hoffman‘s Best Actor-winning role of Raymond will be played by British actor Adam Godley (a.k.a. Mr Teavee from Tim Burton‘s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). The play’s producer, Nica Burns, tells The Stage:

“As you can imagine, we’re very excited. Josh was our first choice for the role from day one. He hasn’t done stage work for a while, because he has been so popular on film. In fact, he has turned down film roles to take this part. I think he and Adam Godley will complement each other wonderfully. They are both very challenging parts but in different ways.

“This is not the film on stage, it’s a theatrical adaptation of what is a really great story.”

The Broadwayification of London theater continues, I suppose. Maybe, if Rain Man‘s a hit, this will be like Hairspray, and we’ll soon have a film adaptation of a stage adaptation of a film. If Harold Pinter were dead – which, just so you know, he isn’t – he’d have been somersaulting in his grave.

In related news: Mamma Mia! – the film adaptation of the ABBA stage musical starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, and Pierce Brosnanpremiered last night in London. Reviews have been favorable.

In other news:

  • Has Madonna traded in her Guy for a ride on the A-Rod? The tabloids are abuzz that Madge has been spending time at her Manhattan apartment with Alex Rodriguez, the super-sexy third basemen for the New York Yankees. A source told US Magazine that “the $28-million-a-year Rodriguez, 32, has made numerous solo nighttime visits to Madonna, 49, at her spacious home and would sneak out ‘as late as midnight.’ Says the source, ‘All the doormen are talking.’”
  • A grim-faced Guy Ritchie has arrived in New York. (The Sun)
  • Did an arsonist burn down Madonna‘s childhood home in suburban Detroit?(NME)
  • That’s what we call class-aaaay: “Amy Winehouse‘s rat husband Blake Fielder-Civil is plotting drug-fueled sex romps with a woman jailbird he has never even met. He told her of his kinky fantasies in a series of astonishing letters from his own cell. He said he had DUMPED the ‘Back to Black’ singer after she confessed to sleeping with two men while he has been locked up. But he wanted to stay friends and BED her too on his release.”(The Sun)
  • Amy ditched rehab and went on a pub crawl.(Mirror)
  • Amy and her beehive will be immortalized in wax at Madame Tussaud’s.(Digital Spy)
  • If you missed it, The Guardian has reviews up for every act that played at Glastonbury. They scored Amy Winehouse’s set 4 out of 10 and said, “Organizers are claiming Amy Winehouse drew the biggest crowd of the night, but she also opted to scat her way through the set instead of sing, tell the audience about the time an ex-boyfriend hit her round the head with a cricket bat, and treat an audience member to what looks suspiciously like a quick succession of punches.”
  • Kanye West laughs off Amy Winehouse calling him “a c***”: “Amy Winehouse hates me! Now I’ve finally made it!?”(ITN)
  • We have confirmation of earlier reports that Jim Caviezel and Sir Ian McKellen will star in a remake of The Prisoner. But the damn thing’s going to AMC, which is the new HBO, if you didn’t know.
  • A “lost Beatles interview” that hasn’t been heard in 44 years is up on the BBC Radio 4 site. You must have Real Player to listen.
  • Paul McCartney says he and George Harrison “rowed” after Paul played over George’s vocals in “Hey Jude.”(Mirror)
  • Arctic Monkeys will hunker down in Sheffield and begin work on their third album this month.(NME)
  • No visa and no U.S. tour for Boy George: “I was really hoping that the issue would be resolved and that some kind soul at the US Visa Office would realize that if the police in the UK placed no restrictions on my movements, that should have been good enough for them. I am very sorry that I will not see all my American fans this year, but I wish them a happy and healthy Fourth of July. I include the Visa Office in those good wishes and realize they are doing a very difficult job and I just got unlucky.” (NME)
  • Wimbledon tennis update: Andy Murray was two sets down against Richard Gasquet, but he made a spectacular comeback, defeating the Frenchman. I have a feeling his next opponent, Rafael Nadal, won’t be so yielding.(Sky News)
  • And yeah, those friendly skies are blue, too: Heathrow is the worst airport in Europe for delays.(Telegraph)
  • The Times dares to call Natty, a 24-year-old British reggae artist, the next Bob Marley. No pressure there.
  • If we have to deal with Duffy, y’all Brits have to deal with Katy Perry. Kiss it and like it.(Popjustice)
  • A serious wrench has been thrown in the BBC’s plans to vacate and sell their iconic Television Centre building in 2012: the English Heritage organization wants it listed as a historical landmark. As The Daily Telegraph reports, “Facing a likely bill of up to £80 million to bring the 48-year-old complex up to 21st century broadcasting standards, the corporation favors selling Television Centre before 2013 – by which time some operations will have moved to Salford, Greater Manchester. But a listing would create obstacles to any would-be developer hoping to transform the site into luxury apartments or offices, and could make the distinctive question-mark-shaped building harder to sell.”

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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