Bruce Willis has come under a lot of fire over the last decade or so for the film choices he has made. Willis is a versatile actor but he has defaulted to playing ‘Bruce Willis‘ in a lot of movies which aren’t worth his talent. I think Willis knows this and he’s willing to pick-up a hefty salary for doing as little as possible. Nothing wrong with that – but where’s the fire and the passion he displayed in Moonlighting or the original Die Hard?
Willis seems to have awoken from this malaise, because he’s taken a starring role in a Broadway adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery. Willis will play Paul Sheldon, a best selling novelist who becomes embroiled with his biggest (and craziest) fan, Annie Wilkes (to be played by Elizabeth Marvel).
Misery was made into a hit 1990 film, directed by Rob Reiner, starring James Caan and Kathy Bates (who won an Oscar for playing Wilkes). The film was adapted for the screen by William Goldman, who has also written a script for this new play.
Willis will tread the boards in the Autumn in a limited run, but exact dates and the theatre are unknown at this point.
This news has strong parallels with Birdman, which saw a much maligned and socially irrelevant actor, famous for franchise movies take to Broadway to prove his artistic integrity. I’m not saying that Bruce Willis has become irrelevant but time marches on and there’s a whole new set of young actors out there scoring box office in a slew of superhero movies.
It’ll be interested to see if this takes Bruce Willis‘ career to a new level, one which embraces the character actor that he always wanted to be.