Steve Coogan, star of Philomena and The Trip to Italy, and John C Reilly, star of Carnage, Chicago and countless others, are due to team up in a biopic of the greatest comedy duo to grace Hollywood: Laurel and Hardy. According to Deadline, the film is intended to be called Stan and Ollie and will focus not on their golden years, but in the decline of their partnership.
Based around their 1953 tour, two years after they made their last film, Stan and Ollie will explore their faded popularity and their complex relationship. Their popularity was initially reflected in the low attendance of the tour, but it eventually allowed them to reconnect to their fans and bask in the last rays of their success. Jon S Baird, director of Filth, has signed on to direct this film and had this to say when the project was first announced in 2014:
“It’s really a love story between two guys who come to realise they can’t live without each other, it’s a beautiful tale. It also tells the story of their off-screen personas, which were quite different to what people would imagine, knowing their on-screen ones“. Faye Ward, of Suffragette fame, is also attached to the project in the role of producer and the film itself is being developed by BBC Film. Ward has stated that the project will be a “treasure” to old fans and new ones.
Steve Coogan will next be seen on the big screen in the Apartheid drama Shepherds and Butchers as a jaded lawyer fighting to expose the injustice inherent in the South African capital punishment system. John C Reilly is also being kept busy as he is currently shooting the reboot Kong: Skull Island. There is currently no release date set for their Laurel and Hardy biopic, but the news is bound to have fans excited to see what fine messes the pair will get into.