Hollywood’s Mark Ruffalo and Guy Pearce have previously been mentioned in connection with Steven Berkoff’s upcoming stage adaptation of On the Waterfront, the Oscar-winning 1954 movie directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando (See The Goss, 27 Jul 2007). But according to an interview the maverick playwright-director-actor gave to Playbill.com, its screen star Matt Dillon who’s the real contender to play New Jersey ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman Terry Malloy struggling to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. The role was immortalised on screen by Marlon Brando.

"Matt Dillon is a great boy, a great star, a pure warrior," according to Berkoff. Dillon’s many films include The Outsiders, The Flamingo Kid, Drugstore Cowboy, To Die For, There’s Something About Mary, Crash and You, Me and Dupree. Berkoff also said that the plan is to open the play first at Nottingham Playhouse in March 2008 ahead of a West End transfer.

Earlier this year, Berkoff bought the stage rights to On the Waterfront from the screenplay’s author, the now 93-year-old Budd Schulberg, and has had numerous workshops in London to date. Schulberg co-wrote a 1995 stage version of the screen classic which lasted just one week at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre.