Of all the men, in all the years, it be hard to argue that Bryan Cranston is not, in fact, having the best of them all. After an Emmy Award-winning run of the spectacular Breaking Bad finally and majestically came to a close, the actor got in some blockbuster experience with Godzilla, where he played the coveted role of being the crackpot who actually knew from the beginning what was actually going on beneath the Earth’s surface. Not content to just coast on his laurels, he’s been filling his downtime in New York City, portraying President Lyndon B. Johnson in the play All the Way for which last night he took home the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Play.
But lest you think he’s decided to leave movies behind, it looks like a collision of those two worlds is in order. Steven Spielberg is eyeing All the Way — which also took home a Tony last night for Best Play — to be transformed into a miniseries. The Robert Schenkkan play follows President Johnson beginning with President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and his subsequent inauguration, throughout his first year in office. It’s a packed first year too; Johnson uses his new power to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and goes on to win enough favor that he stays in office for a full term. And if the Tony’s are any indication, Cranston plays the former president to cranky old man perfection.
Spielberg wants Cranston to step off the stage and reprise his role on television for the miniseries, wherever that may be. According to Deadline, Spielberg doesn’t have a network set up for the project yet, but he has a working relationship with HBO, and Cranston clearly has a stellar history over at AMC if he ever wants to dial them up for a favor. But obviously, since Bryan + Cranston + TV = cash money gold cash register noises ratings through the roof, any network is going to jump on this as soon as Spielberg strikes the deal.
What’s going to take some time is fleshing out the concept of a dramatic play about Lyndon B. Johnson, probably about two hours worth of stage time, and morphing it into something that could span a miniseries worth of content. Schenkkan has written more than one play regarding LBJ in his career; The Great Society is scheduled to premiere in July at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and follows LBJ’s presidency up through his departure in 1968. There’s a possibility that the series could mesh together Schenkkan’s two works and make a cohesive look at Johnson’s presidency, with Cranston at the forefront. Hey, if Breaking Bad had to end, then any form of Bryan Cranston on TV will be more than acceptable.