The Oscar nominee will reprise his dramatic stage role in The Elephant Man this fall

By Stephen M. Silverman
January 22, 2014 10:00 AM
Credit: T.Charles Erickson/Splash News Online

So much for the old adage that movie stars head to Broadway to revive their flagging film careers – or to announce that they are available to appear on television.

No less than Bradley Cooper, currently Oscar nominated for his role in American Hustle, is bound for the Great White Way, in a revival of Bernard Pomerance’s 1979 Tony-winning best drama, The Elephant Man, reports Entertainment Weekly.

The show is due to open in the fall. Further details and other casting news have yet to be announced.

Actor Philip Anglim was nominated for a Tony for his performance in the original Broadway production, and John Hurt was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar when he played the role in David Lynch’s 1980 film, which was not based on the play. (The movie was also nominated for Best Picture.)

The most recent Broadway revival was a 2002 production with Billy Crudup and Kate Burton, who were both nominated for Tonys.

The story concerns the real-life John Merrick, a severely disfigured 19th- century Englishman who struggles to live with dignity.

Cooper, 39, played the role to excellent reviews in a summer 2012 limited run at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.

“For anyone who has any doubts, Mr. Cooper is not just a movie star, he’s an actor,” said critic Jeffrey Borak of the Berkshire Eagle.

Cooper’s last appearance on Broadway was in 2006, alongside Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd in the Richard Greenberg drama Three Days of Rain.

Earlier this week it was reported that Hugh Jackman and Daniel Radcliffe are also both returning to Broadway.

When Cooper appeared in the Williamstown production, readers were polled on whether or not they liked his on-stage look – which had him smooth-chested.

Overwhelming, readers told him to drop the razor. His hairy chest took it by a landslide, 94%.