First Look: Bryan Cranston Gets Blacklisted as 'Trumbo'

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 08:57 Written by  iamrogue
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First Look: Bryan Cranston Gets Blacklisted as 'Trumbo'

Sure, he lent some gravitas to a stretch of Godzilla over the summer, but Bryan Cranston hasn't tackled a leading role since wrapping up his remarkable run on AMC's Breaking Bad.

With Trumbo, though, Cranston has one hell of a starring role that he really ought to sink his teeth into, playing real-life screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

The first image of Cranston in character as Trumbo shows off his outstanding mustache and his command of a cigarette holder in a performance that's likely to earn the erstwhile Walter White even more accolades.

Trumbo was a successful Hollywood screenwriter who refused to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947 during the political witch hunt for Communists in the homeland.  When so many individuals were understandably intimidated into naming names, Trumbo took a principled stand against scare tactics and bullshit that gave the U.S. a black eye during the post-war years.

His stand got Trumbo tossed in jail for eleven months and blacklisted professionally.  He couldn't be kept down, though, using pseudonyms to continue writing screenplays, including Oscar winners like Roman Holiday and The Brave One, as well as contributing to Spartacus.

This first look image, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, has Cranston's Trumbo at work on a typewriter because, you know, he's a writer.


Trumbo focuses on the battle of wills and wits between Trumbo and powerful, red-hating gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, played by another world class thespian, the great Helen Mirren.

Between Cranston and Mirren, Trumbo's cast was already impressive, but it also includes Diane Lane as Dalton's wife Cleo and Elle Fanning as their daughter Nikola.  But that's not all, because John Goodman, Louis CK, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Alan Tudyk all play supporting roles as well.

Trumbo recently finished up principal photography in New Orleans and is expected to be a heavy hitter during next year's awards season.  Bleecker Street is distributing Trumbo in the U.S., and it's likely to release the film in 2015.

It's the latest from director Jay Roach.  "Wait," your thinking to yourself, "Isn't Jay Roach also the name of the guy who directed the Austin Powers movies and Meet the Parents?" 

Yep, this is indeed the same helmer who oversaw Dinner for Schmucks and, most recently, The Campaign.  The comedy director has shown a knack for fact-based political storytelling with his HBO movies Recount and Game Change, so his Trumbo work isn't quite as as unexpected as it might sound at first.

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