Steven Spielberg Bryan Cranston LBJ All The Way

Fresh off a Tony award for Best Actor in a Play, Bryan Cranston could be taking that stage role to the small screen. Steven Spielberg is reportedly in talks to acquire the rights to the Broadway play All the Way, which currently features Cranston playing President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, All the Way tells the story of how Johnson dealt with the tumultuous politics of 1964, which included the Vietnam war and the Civil Rights movement.

The hope is that if Spielberg gets the rights to the play, which just won a Tony Award for Best Play, Cranston would reprise the role on TV.

Deadline broke the news of the potential deal. They wisely point out that even if this does happen the broadcast home for the project remains a huge question mark. Spielberg, of course works, with HBO, producing shows like Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Cranston, however, is an AMC guy, winning multiple Emmys for Breaking Bad and reportedly reprising that role (in some way) in the upcoming series Better Call Saul. You’d imagine the producer would carry sway here, and we could see All The Way on HBO. (Schenkkan also has a sequel project, following Johnson through 1968, going into production soon.)

All the Way is on Broadway for the remainder of the month and you can find out more about it here. However, here’s a commercial that shows Cranston as Johnson.

And here’s the description of the show, which could obviously be changed slightly if adapted to TV, and hypothetically include elements from the sequel, The Kentucky Cycle:

Bryan Cranston, the Golden Globe and three-time Emmy Award-winning star of “Breaking Bad,” makes his Broadway debut in an electrifying portrayal of one of the most controversial, ambitious and exciting presidents of the 20th century: PRESIDENT LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON.

This STRICTLY LIMITED ENGAGEMENT of the gripping and suspenseful new play from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan features a company of 20 distinguished stage actors playing some of history’s most dynamic figures: J. Edgar Hoover; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Governor George Wallace; Senator Hubert Humphrey; Secretary of Defense Robert J. McNamara and LBJ himself.

1964: A pivotal year in American history—a landmark civil rights bill was passed, America began its involvement in Vietnam…and one man sat at the center of it all, determined to lift the country out of the ashes and rebuild it into The Great Society—by any means necessary. Hero. Bully. President. He played whatever part it took to win the day. It’s not personal, it’s just politics.

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