Showrunner Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) will bring his play about the birth of television, The Farnsworth Invention, to Broadway in November. According to reports from Daily Variety, Steven Spielberg is expected to join the production team, which is headed by Dodger Theatricals.
Des McAnuff, the La Jolla Playhouse's departing artistic director, will direct Farnsworth, which tells the tale of the clash over who invented television -- American electronics pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth or Russian-born media titan David Sarnoff. The ensemble drama was developed at the La Jolla in March as part of its Page-to-Stage program. It has a cast of 19. Jimmi Simpson and Stephen Lang starred in that production, but casting for the Broadway version has not been announced. McAnuff directed the multi-Tony award winning Jersey Boys, also developed at La Jolla.
Sorkin began Farnsworth as a screenplay before the work was commissioned as a play for Dublin's Abbey Theater, according to Variety. When the government's funding shifted toward favoring Irish plays, Sorkin took the project to La Jolla.
Sorkin has also been attached to adapt the Flaming Lips' 2002 album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots into a musical. His last work on Broadway was the military drama A Few Good Men, which closed in 1991 after a run of 497 performances. Farnsworth would be Spielberg's first Broadway producing experience.