Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery has been cast opposite Bryan Cranston in the world premiere of Network which opens at the National theatre later this year.

Lee Hall’s new play is based on the Oscar-winning film by Paddy Chayefsky, in which a failing news presenter, Howard Beale, becomes a media sensation when he unravels during his final broadcast.

Cranston, who is best known for playing Walter White in the hit AMC series Breaking Bad (now on Netflix), will play Beale with Dockery taking on the role of Diana Christenson, head of the TV network’s programming department.

Since Downton Abbey wrapped Dockery has played the lead in U.S. drama series Good Behavior. A slightly different character to Lady Mary, Dockery plays a drug addicted, alcoholic con artist.  Her theatre credits include Burnt By the Sun (2009), Pygmalion (2007) and His Dark Materials (2004).

Network will be directed by Olivier award winner Ivo Van Hove who’s recent productions include The Crucible (Broadway), Hedda Gabler (National Theatre) and A View From The Bridge (West End, Broadway).

Network runs from 4 November 2017 until 24 March 2018 in the Lyttelton Theatre at the National.