Among the “Oppenheimer” anticipations, another bombshell was dropped: “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” will be adapted as a West End stage production.
The project, spearheaded by “Veep” and “Avenue 5” creator Armando Iannucci, is the first-ever adaptation of a Kubrick property. Kubrick’s widow Christiane Kubrick has confirmed the upcoming play based on the 1964 political satire starring Peter Sellers.
“We’ve always been reluctant to let anyone adapt Stanley’s work, and we never have. It was so important to him that it hasn’t been changed by how he finished it,” Christiane told al BBC. “But we couldn’t help but greenlight this project – the timing is right, the people doing it are amazing and ‘Strangelove’ should be brought to a new and younger audience. I’m sure Stanley would have approved that too.
“Dr. Strangelove” is a parody of the US military responding to attacks by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, with a nuclear holocaust unleashed in the process. The film was released in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Iannucci is known for political satires, including ‘Veep’, ‘Avenue 5’ and ‘The Death of Stalin’. Iannucci adapts “Dr. Strangelove” with West End playwright Sean Foley, who adapted “The Ladykillers” and “I Can’t Sing! The X Factor musical. The venue for the theater has not yet been announced; the “Dr. The Strangelove show will open in the fall of 2024.
Iannucci has access to the Kubrick archive for the stage production. The showrunner shared that he found scrapped scenes and drafts of “Dr. Strangelove” which will be incorporated into the show.
Though the production will be set in the 1960s, Iannucci reflected on the importance of the story today.
“As a story, strangely it hasn’t gone away. It seems like the right time to remind people of the crazy logic behind these dangerous games that play superpowers,” he told the BBC. “Not just with the war in Ukraine, but also with the whole apocalyptic sense of global warming and so on – feels like a very relevant restatement of the message that, this is the madness that stares us down if we do nothing about it. And currently, we’re not doing anything about it. So the result is not good. But if you can leave the theater with that message and a smile, then all the better.