A pair of comedy legends are about to have their life story told on the big screen, courtesy of a couple of today’s most versatile actor / comedians. There’s no question that Laurel and Hardy rank among the most influential and iconic comedy duos of all time, having gotten their start in the silent film era and continuing to make people laugh right through to the early ’50s. But there has never been a major biopic exploring what went on behind the scenes and what they were like in real life. That will all change with Stan & Ollie, a feature film in development at BBC Films with Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly attached to play Laurel and Hardy respectively. Hit the jump to find out what else we know about the project.
According to Screen Daily, Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly will star in Stan & Ollie, a movie that focuses on Laurel and Hardy’s final UK tour in 1953. With their careers fading and Hardy’s health failing, their relationship also threatens to come apart at the seams. The movie will be directed by Jon S. Baird (Filth) from a screenplay by Jeff Pope (Philomena). Pope had this to say about the project:
“When I watch their movies, in my head it is forever a Saturday morning and I am six 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 coloured specs. They are living and breathing characters, with flaws and shortcomings. The research into this story threw up so many details and facts that I had no idea about. But everything I have done has come from a place of love and more than anything else I hope this shines through.”
Coogan’s involvement makes sense considering that he co-wrote Philomena with Pope and also starred in it. However, the casting of Coogan and Reilly together seems like a perfect fit, especially since Laurel was British and Hardy was American. Are you looking forward to Stan & Ollie?