Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is as important and prescient as it was back in 1964. That makes it a perfect candidate for a stage adaptation. For those not familiar with the film, it’s a dark satirical comedy about nuclear proliferation and Cold War fears of mutually assured destruction. That, and politicians with a strange set of neuroses. It definitely feels relevant, right? It's considered to be one of the best comedies ever, as well as one of the best movies of all time, full stop.
In the original film, Peter Sellers plays three separate characters. Those characters are Lionel Mandrake, a British RAF officer, Merkin Muffley, the president of the United States, and Dr. Strangelove, the world’s foremost expert on nuclear war and an ex-Nazi. Kubrick himself wasn’t incredibly keen on having Sellers play multiple characters; he admitted that he was essentially forced to go along with it, as it's a natural consequence of funding motion pictures through the studio system.
Steve Coogan is a treasured British comedian, having been nominated for and winning multiple BAFTAs, as well as receiving Oscar nominations. He'll be jumping into Peter Sellers’ shoes for this upcoming stage adaptation, which is being adapted for the stage by Veep creator Armando Iannucci.
Coogan had this stay about the project:
The idea of putting ‘Dr. Strangelove’ on stage is daunting. A huge responsibility. It’s also an exciting challenge, an opportunity to bring this timeless classic to a new audience. Knowing that I will be part of a creative team led by Sean Foley and Armando Iannucci means I will be working with the best people. Sean is a master of stage comedy and Armando and I started working with each other over 30 years ago. We made some memorable comedy together so it’s great to be collaborating with him once again.
The stage version of Dr. Strangelove is expected to premiere at the Noel Coward Theatre some time in 2024.
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