Marc Warren Fronts Luke Adaptation at Aldwych
The American crime drama, which was famously adapted into a 1967 film directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Paul Newman, will now receive a West End stage outing.
The film earned Paul Newman an Oscar nomination, whilst his co-star George Kennedy picked up the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Cool Hand Luke focuses on Luke Jackson, a decorated World War II veteran who refuses to conform to life in a Florida prison camp and frequently tries to escape. In one particularly iconic scene, Jackson enters a spur of the moment wager that he can eat 50 eggs in an hour.
Speaking to the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye, Warren stressed that he will not be emulating the character played by Paul Newman in the story's film version, but rather the Luke Jackson of Pearce's 1965 novel of the same name.
The production is directed by Andrew Loudon, whose recent West End directing credits include the 2004 production of Little Women at the Duchess - a project he also brought to the stage with writer Emma Reeves.
Billed as containing "a lot of music and singing", Warren will reportedly learn to play the banjo for the role.
In addition to Hustle, Warren's screen credits include Sky television series Mad Dogs, the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers and BBC crime drama Accused.
On stage Warren appeared alongside Diana Vickers and Leslie Sharp in the West End production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and was nominated for a TMA Award for his part in Leicester Curve's 2009 production of The Pillowman.
Currently at the Aldwych, stage-to-screen musical Dirty Dancing will end its London run on 9 July 2011, after five years at the theatre. The show, which has been seen by almost 2 million London theatregoers, kicks off a national tour from the Bristol Hippodrome on 1 September 2011.