The actor, who finishes his run as science-teacher-turned-drug-kingpin Walter White on AMC's critically acclaimed "Breaking Bad," has just scored his first big post-show role: as blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. "Recount" and "Game Change" director Jay Roach will helm the project, which is based on a script by John McNamara.
Trumbo was one of the highest-paid screenwriters in Hollywood when he was sent to prison for refusing to answer questions related to Congress's House On UnAmerican Activities Committee, as part of the infamous witch hunt to out supposed Soviet subversives hiding within the entertainment industry. Still, you couldn't keep a talent like Trumbo down, and during his time as part of the blacklist, continued to write, even scoring two Academy Awards under pseudonyms.
The writer endured and fought against the Hollywood and D.C. manhunts, eventually clearing himself of all charges and ending the blacklist for good. McNamara's script is based on a biography by Bruce Cook, and should be really, really ridiculously good.
What makes the Trumbo story so universal is that it isn't just a Hollywood tale; it's something everyone can relate to: that feeling of being unfairly prosecuted for something you had nothing to do with. This could be a really wonderful, emotional movie, with Roach showing some really wonderful skills when it comes to adapting nonfiction material, as he did with his two superb HBO movies. And, of course, we're very happy to be seeing Cranston get such high-profile work, since even during his time on "Breaking Bad" he was mostly relegated to bit parts in things like "Contagion," "Drive," "Total Recall," "Larry Crowne" and "Argo."