Producers have released the first image of Marc Warren in character for the upcoming adaptation of Cool Hand Luke, which opens at the West End’s Aldwych Theatre on 3 October 2011, (previews from 23 September).

Primarily known for his television roles in BBC TV’s Hustle, the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers and the Sky television series Mad Dogs, Warren is no stranger to the stage. He appeared alongside Diana Vickers and Leslie Sharp in the West End production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and was nominated for a TMA Award for The Pillowman in 2009. He will also reportedly learn to play banjo for the role.

Marc Warren as Cool Hand Luke. Photo credit: Gregg Stone
Cool Hand Luke was famously adapted to the silver screen in 1967 with Paul Newman as Luke Jackson. The film earned both Newman and co-star George Kennedy Oscar nominations, with Kennedy going on to win in the Best Supporting Actor category.

The story tells of decorated WWII vet Luke and his refusal to conform to life in a Florida prison camp. Despite frequent attempts at escape, Luke constantly finds himself back in the hands of the vicious warden.

The production is directed by Andrew Loudon, whose recent West End directing credits includes Little Women at the Duchess in 2004. Cool Hand Luke will feature design by Edward Lipscomb with lighting by Matthew Eagland and is presented in the West End by Novel Theatre. The production is initially booking for a limited season to 7 January 2012.