True Grit and Lincoln actor Dakin Matthews is to take on Burgess Meredith's role as fictional boxer Rocky Balboa's trainer in Broadway's new musical version of the classic film.

The 73 year old, who is one of California’s most admired stage actors, will make his Broadway bow as Mickey when Rocky the Musical opens to previews in February (14).

Meredith played the role in the first three Rocky movies.

The musical has already been a big hit in Germany, where it knocked out critics last year (13) and has become a huge hit in Hamburg.