Hollywood is a fickle mistress for Broadway. One of the hottest tickets this fall was supposed to be the James Franco’s Broadway debut, alongside Nicole Kidman, in Tennessee Williams’s Sweet Bird of Youth, directed by the openly gay David Cromer (Our Town, House of Blue Leaves).
Alas, the show must not go on.
Franco’s publicist confirmed on Monday that he is no longer involved in the production, and according to Cromer and The New York Times the show will not be a part of Broadway’s fall season. Kidman is still attached should the production ever get to the Great White Way. In
Youth, a Williams classic from 1959, tells the story of the gigolo Chance Wayne (the role Franco was attached to play) and his relationship with aging movie star Alexandra Del Lago (Kidman). The play was previously performed on Broadway with Paul Newman and Geraldine Page in the lead roles, which they re-created for the 1962 film adaptation. (Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Harmon brought the pre-cougar-era drama to the small screen in a less-than-stellar 1980s TV adaptation.)
While we mourn the loss of Franco—who’s probably too busy filming that Oz sequel and defending his dissertation at Yale—there is some good news to report on the Hollywood-hunk-goes-to-Broadway-front: Web-slinging Andrew Garfield is definitely going to be playing Biff Loman in Mike Nichols’s production of Death of a Salesman next spring. The son of put-upon everyman Willy Loman, Biff might not be as sexy a role as Chance but Garfield is definitely just as hot as Franco—if not hotter.