A biopic about the legendary comedy team Laurel and Hardy is in the works, titled Stan & Ollie. John C. Reilly (Guardians of the Galaxy) will take on the role of Oliver Hardy, and Stan Laurel will be played by Steve Coogan (Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb).
Directing the picture is Jon S. Baird of TV’s Vinyl. The screenplay, developed by the BBC, was written by Jeff Pope, best known for writing the critical and box office success Philomena. Pope is also co-producing the film via his company, Sonesta Films.
A big fan of the comic duo, Pope is clearly enthusiastic about the project and takes his involvement seriously. Variety quoted him as saying, “Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are my heroes. When I watch their movies, in my head it is forever a Saturday morning and I am 6 years old watching the TV at home utterly spellbound. I am aware of the huge responsibility of bringing their characters to life, but I have not treated the boys with kid gloves or looked at them through rose-colored specs.”
Most of Laurel and Hardy’s popular films were released in the 1930s, but their screwball comedy and slapstick humor has a timeless appeal that continued to entertain fans for decades.
The film will focus on Laurel and Hardy’s variety hall tour of Britain in 1953, including what they were going through in their partnership and their personal lives during a tour that was initially unsuccessful but turned into a surprise hit.
John C. Reilly is currently filming the highly anticipated King Kong origin movie, Kong: Skull Island, which is due in theaters on March 10, 2017.