James Bond actor Daniel Craig is stepping away from the big screen to perform in a small Off-Broadway production of Shakespeare’s “Othello,” the New York Theatre Workshop confirmed Monday.
Craig is slated to play the villain, Iago, in the bard’s classic play, which will have a limited run during next year’s fall season. Craig’s involvement was first reported by The New York Times’ ArtsBeat blog.
“This production is an opportunity for New York Theatre Workshop to do what it aspires to do — to foster the growth and accomplishment of the artists we believe in,” the company’s artistic director James Nicola said in a statement. “I’m eager to see what these original, creative artists come up with in response to Shakespeare’s enduring tragedy.”
Production dates have not yet been announced. The main role of Othello will be played by David Oyelowo, who starred as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the acclaimed “Selma.”
New York Theatre Workshop, a nonprofit company, runs a 199 seat theater in the East Village.
This is not Craig’s first delve into theater, having already starred in two Broadway productions: “Betrayal” and “A Steady Rain.”
Earlier this year Craig told DuJour magazine that he wanted to take on New York theater, but added he wasn’t crazy about working on Broadway.
“The audience is all over 50, on the whole, and I think new faces and cheaper tickets are the only way forward,” he said in the interview. “And it’s never going to happen.”
Craig is widely known for his role in the latest iteration of James Bond. The fourth film of the series, “Spectre,” will hit the big screen in the U.S. next month.