Steve Coogan and John C Reilly are set to play Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in a new biopic from Jon S Baird, the director of Filth.
According to Deadline, the film, to be called Stan & Ollie, will focus on the latter stages of their career. It will be written by Jeff Pope, who previously worked with Coogan on Philomena.
The plot will revolve around the pair’s 1953 tour, which took place when their popularity had faded. The tour started with poor attendance but became a success, reuniting them with their fans and causing the pair to reflect upon their life together.
“It’s really a love story between two guys who come to realise they can’t live without each other,” said Baird when the project was announced in 2014. “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.”
The biopic is being developed by BBC Films and will be produced by Faye Ward, who recently worked on Suffragette. She said it will be “a film to treasure for fans both old and new”.
Coogan recently starred in the US comedy series Happyish, which was cancelled after low ratings. He will next be seen in apartheid drama Shepherds and Butchers and heard in animated comedy The Secret Life of Pets. Reilly was last on screen in the dystopian dating satire The Lobster and is currently filming the action reboot Kong: Skull Island.