Bryan Cranston to Star as Blacklisted Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo

Bryan Cranston

Breaking Bad nominee Bryan Cranston mugs for the camera on the Emmys red carpet.

Jay Roach is directing the indie, which is based on the book by Bruce Cook.

Bryan Cranston, who could not be generating more heat as his epic run on Breaking Bad nears its conclusion, will play blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo, an indie feature to be directed by Jay Roach.

Michael London and his Groundswell Productions are behind the movie, which will shoot in 2014 and will be Cranston’s first project after Breaking Bad wraps.

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Trumbo was one on the hottest screenwriters in his day of the 1940s and was also a member of the Communist Party USA. His career came to a screeching halt when the House Committee on Un-American Activities called on several Hollywood writers and directors to testify about communist activities.

Trumbo refused to give information and became part of the Hollywood 10, a group blacklisted by the studios. He even served 11 months in jail.

He worked on several movies in secret or under pseudonyms (Spartacus was one of them) but even though the blacklist was weakened in the 1960s, the damage to his career was done.

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He was awarded a posthumous Oscar for writing the 1953 Gregory Peck-Audrey Hepburn classic Roman Holiday.

John McNamara wrote the Trumbo script, which is based on the 1977 book Dalton Trumbo by Bruce Cook.

Groundswell and WME Global is putting together financing for the indie. 

Cranston is repped by UTA, Roach by WME.