EXCLUSIVE: When he completes his tour de force run in Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston will play the title role in the Jay Roach-directed Trumbo, the fact-based feature of the man who broke the Hollywood blacklist. Michael London’s Groundswell Productions is putting the film together for a 2014 start and it will be Cranston’s first big job after the AMC series that has brought him three Emmys with a nomination for a fourth to be determined this weekend. John McNamara wrote the script.
Trumbo was the highest paid screenwriter in the world when, in 1950, he was sent to prison for refusing to answer the questions of Congress’ infamous House UnAmerican Activities Committee. Rebellious even after his release, Trumbo became the movies’ most prolific blacklisted writer, secretly writing such classics as Roman Holiday and winning two Academy Awards — under fake names.
It was no easy living though, as the blacklist remained unbreakable and destroyed careers, friendships and lives. Trumbo’s relationship with wife and children were tested almost to the breaking point, but nothing could stop his campaign to break the boycott. In the end, Trumbo helped ignite a battle against Hollywood and D.C., eventually clearing his name and ending the blacklist once and for all. McNamara adapted the book by Bruce Cook. London is producing with Janice Williams, Kevin Brown and McNamara. Kelly Mullen is executive producer. Groundswell is setting up the financing with WME Global’s Graham Taylor.
Cranston, who is currently onstage in All The Way in Massachusetts, is repped by UTA. Breaking Bad‘s last episode airs September 29.