It must be nice being Bryan Cranston. Coming off of the incredibly popular and multiple Emmy Award winning show Breaking Bad, the actor stepped into some pretty big shoes, playing President Lyndon Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s play All the Way. He then went on to take home a Tony for Best Lead Actor last night. Now, today, there’s talk of Steven Spielberg optioning All the Way for a miniseries, with Cranston reprising his role as the brilliant and acerbic Johnson.
All the Way follows the first year of Lyndon Johnson’s term as President, beginning with the Kennedy Assassination, traveling through his efforts to pass Civil Rights legislation, and his final re-election victory. Spielberg is said to be in the process of optioning the play via his Amblin Entertainment banner, with an eye to bring Cranston back on board in his now Tony-winning role. There’s even a chance that the second play in Schenkkan’s “LBJ cycle,” The Great Society, will figure into the miniseries. The Great Society follows LBJ’s re-election from 1964-1968, when Johnson left office. That play will premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in July.
As Deadline points out, it is unclear on which network the miniseries will air, given Spielberg’s connections with HBO and Cranston’s relationship with rival AMC. But these are a very big director and star, so I’m certain that they’ll find some way of working it out. For those of us who have been unable to see Cranston playing LBJ live on stage, a miniseries of the same play would be a welcome addition to our viewing schedule.
So, here’s hoping that Spielberg gets his option on All the Way and Cranston agrees to play the part. I think that we can all agree that seeing a Spielberg-produced or directed story featuring Bryan Cranston will be something to write home about.