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Casting Watch: Bryan Cranston Will Play Blacklisted Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in Upcoming Biopic

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood September 19, 2013 at 11:56AM

Well, this is exciting. Bryan Cranston, star of AMC's "Breaking Bad," will play blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in an upcoming biopic, "Trumbo."
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Bryan Cranston

Well, this is exciting. Bryan Cranston, star of AMC's "Breaking Bad," will play blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in an upcoming biopic, "Trumbo."

Dalton Trumbo writing from his bathtub
Dalton Trumbo writing from his bathtub

John McNamara penned the script, adapted from the book by Bruce Cook. It centers on Trumbo's status as Hollywood's highest paid screenwriter, to a man imprisoned in 1950 for refusing to answer questions hurled at him by HUAC (House UnAmerican Activities Committee), to a prolific screenwriter operating under false pen names, to the man who ultimately broke the blacklist when given his real screen credit in Otto Preminger's "Exodus," and Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus," starring Kirk Douglas, both made in 1960.

Jay Roach, who in 2012 took home a DGA award for "Game Change" starring Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, is helming. He's perhaps most well-known for the "Austin Powers" films and the first two films in the "Meet the Parents" franchise. So we'll see what he does with this distinctly unfunny and dark chapter in American history.

The film is set for a 2014 start, and marks Cranston's first major role following the hotly popular AMC series, for which he's won three Emmys -- and is nominated for another one at the annual Emmys ceremony this coming weekend (September 22). "Breaking Bad" has its final episode September 29.

This article is related to: News, CASTING WATCH, casting, Bryan Cranston, Jay Roach


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.