'JAG' Star David James Elliott to Play John Wayne in Bryan Cranston's 'Trumbo' (Exclusive)
Peter Mackenzie and Roger Bart also are joining the drama, whose cast already includes Helen Mirren, Diane Lane and John Goodman
David James Elliott, who starred in TV’s JAG for 10 years, will play Hollywood legend John Wayne in Trumbo, the Dalton Trumbo biopic starring Bryan Cranston.
Jay Roach is directing the indie, which sees Cranston portraying the screenwriter who was blacklisted in Hollywood’s golden age for his ties to the Communist party. Peter Mackenzie and Roger Bart are also joining the roll call.
The castings come on the same day that Trumbo landed a home in the U.S. with Bleecker Street, the new indie distribution company launched by former Focus Features co-CEO Andrew Karpen. Bleecker Street will handle Trumbo via an output deal with Shivani Rawat’s ShivHans Pictures.
Entertainment One has international rights to the movie and will shop the project to foreign buyers next month at the Toronto Film Festival.
The movie already has Diane Lane as Trumbo’s wife, Helen Mirren as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, Michael Stuhlbarg as actor Edward G. Robinson and John Goodman as producer Frank King.
Wayne, one of the town’s more conservative actors, was not only a member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals — which supplied names to Congress of those deemed friendly and unfriendly in Hollywood — but also its president for four years.
Mackenzie will play Robert Kenny, the liberal defense attorney for the Hollywood 10. Bart is playing Buddy Ross, a producer who works with Trumbo.
The movie, which has the John McNamara-written script adapting a book by Bruce Cook, is due to start shooting in New Orleans in September.
Michael London and his Groundswell Productions are producing.
Elliott most recently starred in Ricky Blitt and FOX’s new pilot Welcome to the Family opposite Jane Kazmarek and was featured in an arc opposite Jon Hamm in the last season of AMC’s Mad Men. He is repped by Gersh and manager Jeffrey Goldberg.
Mackenzie recently wrapped Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes movie and will recur on ABC’s upcoming show Blackish. He also appeared in Project X and 42. He is repped by Pakula King and Associates and manager Holly Shelton.
Bart recurs on ABC's Revenge and Showtime's Episodes and was last seen on the big-screen in the comedy hit Last Vegas. He is repped by Innovative Artists and Principato Young.
Aug. 13, 5:30 p.m. Updated with additional casting information.