BBC Films is moving forward with a biopic on comedy legends Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, with actors Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly signing on to play the title characters in Stan and Ollie. Screen Daily reports that Steve Coogan is playing Stan Laurel, and John C. Reilly is portraying Oliver Hardy in this movie, which centers on the comedy duo's final U.K. tour in 1953. Here's a description of the plot from Screen Daily.
"Diminished by age and with their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future. As they set out, crisscrossing the country, attendances are disappointingly low. But they've always been able to make each other laugh and as the charm and beauty of their performances shines through their audiences laugh too, and they re-connect with legions of adoring fans, old and new. The tour becomes a hit, but Laurel & Hardy can't quite shake the spectre of Stan and Ollie's past; and long buried ghosts, coupled with Oliver's failing health, start to threaten their precious partnership. A portrait of their creative marriage begins to unfold as the duo, aware that they may be approaching their swan song, try to rediscover just how much they mean to each other."
Jon S. Baird (Filth) is directing from a screenplay by Jeff Pope (Philomena). Christine Langan and Nichola Martin will executive prodcue for BBC Films, alongside Jeff Pope for Sonesta Films and Gabrielle Tana. Here's what writer-executive producer Jeff Pope had to say about the project in a statement.
"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 colored 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."
There is no word yet on when production may begin on Stan and Ollie, or how many other characters still need to be cast. BBC Films has not issued a release date for this biopic. Do you think Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are the right actors to portray Laurel & Hardy? Chime in with your thoughts below, and stay tuned for more details.