Since NBC announced they were planning a live presentation of Aaron Sorkin’s classic play back in November 2014, I’ve been eager to find out who they would cast in the lead roles. While the play debuted in 1989 to acclaim and helped propel Sorkin to screenwriter stardom, the version that most people remember is the Oscar-nominated 1992 film starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore. I was curious to see who the network would get for a presentation that could actually be good as opposed to a captivating trainwreck like Peter Pan Live!
Now we have the first piece of casting with NBC announcing that Alec Baldwin will play Col. Nathan R. Jessup (oddly spelled “Jessep” in the press release). If you’re not familiar with A Few Good Men, chances are you’re still familiar with Jessup’s famous “You can’t handle the truth!” speech. Here it is in case you need a refresher:
This will be a reunion of sorts for Baldwin and Sorkin, who is executive producing alongside Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Baldwin previously starred in Harold Becker’s 1993 drama Malice, which Sorkin wrote. It’s not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it does have an outstanding scene featuring Baldwin:
“Alec is one of our greatest actors. Having him play this role — live onstage for a television audience — is a dream come true. This will be a brand new take on Nathan Jessep and I expect that Alec is going to bust through TV screens and right into living rooms,” Sorkin said in a press release.
Sorkin, who recently shot his directorial debut Molly’s Game, which opens November 22nd, will write the teleplay adaptation for the presentation. The live show is slated to air in the second quarter of 2018. Hopefully, more casting, especially for the role of military lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee (played by Cruise in the movie), will be announced soon.
As for the casting of Baldwin, it’s exciting. It’s a rich, interesting character, and I’m eager to see how Baldwin’s portrayal will differ from Nicholson’s.