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Bryan Cranston set for National Theatre production of 1976 movie Network

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston has signed up to make his debut on the London stage as a TV news anchor in a theatre adaptation of the film Network.

Cranston, 60, will play Howard Beale, who said the line "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more" in the Oscar-winning 1976 movie.

The National Theatre production, with other roles yet to be cast, opens in November.

US star Cranston made his name in Breaking Bad, as a high school chemistry teacher turned drug dealer.

National Theatre director Rufus Norris said the play would "absolutely stand up" to the changing media world.

"I think Charlotte Church was holding a banner at one of the marches recently with the quote, 'we're mad as hell and not going to take this any more', and there was even a still from the movie used as a placard, so I think it's very prescient."

He said of Cranston: "He's got a fantastic pedigree as a stage actor.

"It's great to have a broad pool of actors but the main thing is, can they do the job? And he can clearly do the job.

"It's a wonderful part and a part that requires something special."

Other new productions include Anne-Marie Duff returning to the National Theatre to appear alongside Rory Kinnear as theatre's "most notorious married couple" in Macbeth, and to star in the new play Common.

Saint George And The Dragon, an "epic folk play about the challenges of being English", opens in October, and Pinocchio, with songs and score from the Disney film, is programmed for December.

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