All About Eve: Revival of Mankiewicz Movie as Play, Starring Gillian Armstrong as Margo Channing and Lily James as Eve Harrington (Recycling)

Lily James will play the second lead, Eve Harrington, in a revival All About Eve, a role played by Anne Baxter in Mankiewicz’s 1950 Oscar winning movie, containing Bette Davis’ most iconic role as Margo Channing.

James will star opposite the previously reported Gillian Anderson as the New York stage diva Margo Channing in Belgian theater director Ivo van Hove’s upcoming adaptation of the classic backstage drama All About Eve.

The production was scheduled to open early this year on London’s West End, with Cate Blanchett as Margo, but the Australian Oscar winner dropped out due to schedule conflicts.

Presented by Sonia Friedman Productions and Fox Theatricals, the production will begin rehearsals in January, with performances starting the following month at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Other key roles, including the witty theater columnist Addison DeWitt (famously played by George Sanders in the 1950s movie in Oscar-winning role), remain to be cast.

The celebrated 1950 Joseph L. Mankiewicz film starred Bette Davis in one of her signature roles as Margo, with Anne Baxter as the acolyte whose devotion to and obsession of the older woman, leaving her vulnerable to ambitious Eve’s opportunism.

At that time, All About Eve broke records with its 14 Oscar nominations, winning six, including best picture.

Van Hove has become a specialist at retooling movies for the stage, mounting productions based on the works of Ingmar Bergman, John Cassavetes, Visconti and Pasolini.

 

Van Hove will return to Broadway after his successes in the 2015-16 theater season with Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge and The Crucible, the former winning the Best Direction Tony Award.

Lily James’ films have included Cinderella, Baby Driver and Darkest Hour. She plays the younger version of Meryl Streep’s character in this summer’s movie musical sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

On stage, she most recently starred on the West End in Romeo and Juliet, reuniting with her Cinderella director Kenneth Branagh and co-star Richard Madden.

Anderson’s stage credits include playing Blanche DuBois in a 2014 London production of A Streetcar Named Desire, which she reprised two years later in New York, starring opposite Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby.