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Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal to Star in Broadway Revival of ‘Othello’

Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal will soon be treading the boards and celebrating the language of the Bard in a new Broadway revival of William Shakespeare’s “Othello.” Tony Award-winner Kenny Leon will direct the production.

Washington will play the title character while Gyllenhaal is set to take on the role of Iago. If you need a post-high school refresher, Othello marries the beautiful Desdemona only to have Iago make Othello believe Desdemona has been unfaithful. Because it is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies most know how the story ends. The play has been controversial since its inception for how it explores race, with numerous references to Othello being a Black man.

Washington has performed Shakespeare before. Movie audiences might recall his starring turn in Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 comedy “Much Ado About Nothing.” The actor also played the title character in the 2021 feature “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” directed by Joel Coen.

“Othello” has also been the source of numerous film adaptations. Most famously, the play was adapted for a teenage audience the Tim Blake Nelson-directed feature “O,” starring Mekhi Phifer in the title role, Julia Stiles as Desdemona and Josh Hartnett in the Iago role.

Washington was recently announced to reunite with director Spike Lee in a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s “High and Low.” Lee will direct and write the film alongside Alan Fox. It’s the fifth collaboration between Washington and Lee. The pair first worked together on the 1990 film “Mo’ Better Blues,” and have worked on “Malcolm X,” “He Got Game” and, most recently, the 2006 heist thriller “Inside Man.

Gyllenhaal will be seen next in a remake of the Patrick Swayze-starring action drama “Road House.” That film, set to be streamed on Amazon Prime Video in March, drew controversy after the remake’s director, Doug Liman said he was unhappy with Amazon’s decision to stream the film and that he won’t attend the upcoming premiere for the feature at South by Southwest.

“Othello” will open at the Schubert Theatre in the spring of 2025.

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