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'Breaking Bad' Star Bryan Cranston Latest Addition To Randomly Assembled Cast For 'Rock of Ages'

by Oliver Lyttelton
May 2, 2011 1:24 AM
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Justin Theroux Rewriting Script With Director Adam Shankman



It's always satisfying when someone finds success later in life, having worked quietly for years, and we're delighted that the latest actor to follow that path is Bryan Cranston. The 55-year-old has credits stretching back 30 years, and achieved relative fame as the father in long-running sitcom "Malcolm in the Middle," but he demonstrated a range far beyond a sitcom dad with his turn as the cancer-riddled, meth-dealing chemistry teacher at the center of AMC's "Breaking Bad," which has seen the veteran win three Emmys on the trot.

It's given the actor fresh momentum in his career, opening up new avenues and opportunities, which he's jumped on in a big way -- he last appeared as a cop in the solid thriller "The Lincoln Lawyer," July will see both a third series of "Breaking Bad" and a role in Tom Hanks' "Larry Crowne," while roles in Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion," George Lucas' "Red Tails" and Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" will follow before the end of the year. And 2012 is looking just as busy, with the actor moving into tentpole territory, in both Andrew Stanton's "John Carter of Mars," and as the villain in the "Total Recall" remake. And now he's added one more to the slate.

Showblitz reports that Cranston is the latest addition to the, um, eclectic cast of Broadway musical adaptation "Rock of Ages," in which the actor will play the Mayor of Los Angeles and husband of the villain of the piece, a role taken by Catherine Zeta-Jones -- both parts that weren't part of the original stage show. Zeta-Jones will get a couple of musical numbers, but it's unclear at this point if Cranston will get to sing and dance alongside her.

The cast also includes relative newcomers Julianne Hough ("Dancing With The Stars") and Diego Boneta ("90210") as the leads, Tom Cruise as rock star Stacee Jaxx, Paul Giamatti as his manager, Mary J. Blige as Justice Charlier, the owner of a strip club, Russell Brand as Lonnie, the manager of rock club The Bourbon, and Alec Baldwin as the owner of the same. It's certainly an impressive ensemble, even if we're less than convinced that the 80s power ballad deserves a big-screen musical of its own.

"Hairspray" director Adam Shankman is at the helm, and the article also suggests that he's currently polishing the script with actor/writer Justin Theroux, who also penned scripts for "Tropic Thunder" and "Iron Man 2," which suggests that the comedic side of things is getting a boost. There's still one more big role that needs to be filled -- a journalist who sleeps with Cruise's character, the part that Amy Adams was being pursued for, but now won't take due to clashes with "The Man of Steel". They can't hang about too long, however -- shooting begins on May 19th in Miami, and Warners have already set it for release on June 1st, 2012.

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