Magneto and Professor Xavier are heading to Broadway. While a who’s who of UK talent gets set to tread the West End boards over the next year, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart have lined up their own theater gigs in New York. The X-Men franchise stars will play opposite one another in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot this fall in a limited engagement performed in repertory. McKellen’s frequent collaborator Sean Mathias is directing. The Broadway venue, dates and the names of the two actors who will round out each play’s foursome are to come, according to Playbill. McKellen and Stewart previously performed Waiting For Godot under Mathias’ direction in a 2009 West End production. Stewart will play Vladimir and McKellen will play Estragon in Beckett’s classic absurdist play about two men waiting in vain. For No Man’s Land, a conversation between poets in a strange London house, Stewart will be Hirst and McKellen, Spooner. The pair first worked together in a 1977 production of Tom Stoppard’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and have played friends-turned-rivals in three X-Men movies. McKellen is starring in the upcoming ITV sitcom Vicious alongside Derek Jacobi and he and Stewart will shoot Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past this summer. The plays will be produced by Stuart Thompson and Nomango Productions.
EXCLUSIVE: Stephen Belber has finally turned his 2004 Tony-nominated play Match into a feature. It stars Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino and Matthew Lillard to star. The film, produced by David Permut, Rick Rosenthal and Matt Ratner, and it has just wrapped its New York City shoot.
Stewart plays a reclusive, eccentric Juilliard dance instructor and former choreographer, who is visited by a Seattle couple, (Gugino and Lillard) under the pretense of interviewing the dancer for her thesis on the New York dance movement in the 1960s. However, as the couple’s true intentions are revealed, he finds himself unable to dance around the impact of decisions he made long ago.
Belber wrote and directed the 2008 Jennifer Aniston-starrer Management and his other plays turned into films include the Richard Linklater-directed Tape and HBO’s The Laramie Project. He also created an untitled dramatic thriller that FX recently put into development as a potential series.
Touchstone has a new trailer out for Gnomeo and Juliet, the animated feature that will be released February 11. James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are the title characters, and Jason Statham, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith and Patrick Stewart round out the voice cast.
Patrick Stewart, age 70, has managed to pursue a career blending classic theater with pop culture TV to much acclaim. This year, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance as Claudius and the Ghost in Hamlet on PBS’ Great Performances, competing in the made-for-TV movie/miniseries supporting actor category against the likes of Michael Gambon (Emma), Jonathan Pryce (Return to Cranford), David Straithairn (Temple Grandin) and John Goodman (You Don’t Know Jack). But to a generation of TV viewers, he will always be Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sir Patrick spoke with Ray Richmond for Deadline Hollywood about the honor of being knighted, his obsession with Shakespeare, and why he originally thought casting him on Star Trek was crazy talk.
Deadline Hollywood: You were knighted in June. How did this all go down?
Sir Patrick Stewart: I received a letter, and when I opened it there was shock and utter disbelief. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all. People have been saying this could happen to me for several years, but they’re not the kind of things I listened to. From the time I was much younger, I’d followed those actors who were similarly honored, like Sir Michael Redgrave, Sir Ian McKellan. I never anticipated someday being able to join those ranks. It’s a terrific honor and I take it as one bestowed on my profession and my associations. I am very proud and very humbled by it.
DH: I suppose that by comparison, an Emmy nomination is pretty modest stuff. You’ve received three of those before.
SPS: It is not something I take lightly at all. It’s an extraordinary distinction, particularly for playing a supporting player in a Shakespearean play. That doesn’t happen to many actors on television.