Willis will make his Broadway debut opposite stage veteran Elizabeth Marvel (Other Desert Cities, House of Cards) in the play written by two-time Academy Award winner William Goldman (The Princess Bride, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), who also wrote the screenplay for the 1990 Rob Reiner film that starred Kathy Bates in her Oscar-winning turn as Annie Wilkes.
Willis will play the housebound romance novelist Paul Sheldon, who becomes a prisoner of his unhinged “Number One Fan” Wilkes (Marvel) after she rescues him from a car accident and learns that he plans to kill off her favorite fictional character.
Will Frears (Omnium Gatherum) has signed on to direct the play, which is scheduled for a limited run in the fall at a theater to be announced.
Misery will be produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures’ Mark Kaufman and Castle Rock Entertainment’s Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer. Raymond Wu also is producing.
Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures has become an increasingly active producer in recent years. The division is currently behind the musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London’s West End, with Sam Mendes directing, scheduled to bow on Broadway during the 2016-17 season. The division also is co-producing the 2013 Olivier Award best play winner The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Broadway. Warners’ other recent Broadway credits include the Tony-winning original musical The Bridges of Madison County and the holiday hit Elf.
Willis was last on a New York stage when he understudied Ed Harris in the lead role of the 1983 off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard‘s Fool for Love. Marvel’s last Broadway appearance was in the 2013 revival of Picnic.
Misery had its world premiere at Bucks County Playhouse in fall 2012.
Willis is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. King is handled by Paradigm.