Slater set to land Cuckoo's Nest role
ACTOR Christian Slater is expected to follow in the footsteps of another notorious Hollywood hellraiser, Jack Nicholson, by starring in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Slater is understood to have edged ahead of other stars, including Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jnr, to play the stage role of patient Randle P McMurphy - the part made famous by Nicholson in the 1975 Oscar-winning film.
Details of the production, which will be directed by Guy Masterson, will not be formally announced until next week, and the show’s producer, Nica Burns, is currently in New York to secure a deal. It is understood that one of the conditions for the production to go ahead is that a Hollywood star plays the lead role in the play based on Ken Kesey’s novel about a drifter who ends up in a US mental asylum in 1965.
The co-stars are expected to include Mackenzie Crook - who starred in The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean - and actress Frances Barber. Slater, 34, has had leading roles in True Romance and Interview with the Vampire. The play will run at the Assembly Rooms from 6 to 30 August, before transferring to London’s West End.
An industry insider said: "Last week it looked like Woody Harrelson was going to do it, but now Slater has emerged as the favourite for the role.
"Christian Slater has the same manic energy as Jack Nicholson, and he would be box-office dynamite."
Anna Arthur, the publicist for the show, said: "Nica Burns is in New York getting an actor to put pen to paper.
"Nothing is set in stone yet and will be announced next week," she said.
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