I tried to see Doubt on Broadway several times when I lived in New York City, but never managed to snag a ticket. By the time the buzz had settled down, the production had switched to a new cast, and the general consensus was that no one would be able to equal the incredible performances of Cherry Jones and Brian F. O'Byrne in the lead roles. Well, those skeptics might be changing their minds. Because the film version of Doubt has just snagged two of the finest actors working today: Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. John Patrick Shanley is adapting his play for the big screen, and will direct the film as well. This is exciting news, Shanley is a terrific director who hasn't made a film since the absolutely wonderful Joe Vs. the Volcano over 15 years ago.
Doubt is set at a Catholic school in the Bronx in 1964. Streep will play the stern principal of the school, a nun, who brings charges of pedophilia against a popular priest, played by Hoffman. I can't wait to see those two play off each other. One juicy role remains to be cast, a young nun trapped between the pair. I'd imagine every young actress in Hollywood is going to be breaking doors down to get that role! Doubt won four Tony awards, including Best Play. It also won the frigging Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and unless they totally botch this thing, this is the sort of project that absolutely screams "Oscar!" Shanley won a much deserved Academy Award in 1988 for his brilliant Moonstruck script, Streep and Hoffman have both taken home little gold men, and the combination leaves little Doubt that this is going to be something special.