NEW YORK (Reuters) - They gained Oscar glory working together on “American Beauty.” Now actor Kevin Spacey and British director Sam Mendes are teaming up again for a transatlantic stage production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” producers said on Thursday.
Spacey, 51, will play the title role in the play, which depicts the short reign of the English tyrant. Memorable feature versions starred Laurence Olivier and Ian McKellen.
It will open in February 2012 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) Harvey Theater in New York, followed by a brief international tour before playing at London’s Old Vic theater in May.
Mendes, 45, said in a statement it was “a role Kevin was born to play,” while Spacey predicted it would be a “memorable experience.” The actor has spent the past seven years as artistic director of the Old Vic.
Spacey and Mendes last worked together on the 1999 suburban drama “American Beauty,” winning Academy Awards for best actor and director, respectively.
“Richard III” is staged by the Bridge Project, which is a collaboration among BAM, the Old Vic and Mendes’ Neal Street Productions. It will feature both British and American actors. Full casting will be announced at a later date.
Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Dean Goodman