Steve Coogan & John C. Reilly Cast in Upcoming Laurel & Hardy Film
Bringing back the classic comedy! There's a new project in the works called Stan & Ollie, from filmmaker Jon S. Baird (of Filth most recently), and it's about the two legendary comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The report states that comedic actors Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly have been cast to play Laurel & Hardy, respectively, and will begin filming later this year. The project is being produced by Faye Ward's Fable Pictures for BBC Films. This seems like perfect casting, and a great opportunity to bring these two back into contemporary cinema. At least it's not a remake attempt like that awful Three Stooges movie.
The film isn't so much about Laurel & Hardy's time in Hollywood, as it is about their time after Hollywood. And how fame and success fades, but friends don't. Here's the full-length synopsis from the original report:
The film will focus on the now-legendary 1953 tour embarked on by the ageing duo. Once the world’s favourite comedy double act, but now diminished by age and their golden era a distant memory, Laurel & Hardy set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. 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 the most tender and poignant of creative marriages 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.
That sounds pretty damn good. I'm looking forward to it already. "With Faye Ward producing and Jon Baird at the helm, BBC Films is extremely excited to crank up production of this gem in 2016." If you don't know who Laurel & Hardy are, time for a quick history lesson (then go watch some of their work). Stan Laurel, a "thin Englishman", and Oliver Hardy, a "heavyset American", were a comedy double act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. They became well known during the late 1920s through the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous Hardy. The two had great influence on Hollywood at the time, and are still remembered quite fondly today.
We'll be keeping an eye on this project as news develops. Steve Coogan recently starred in The Trip to Italy, Philomena and Alan Partridge; John C. Reilly recently starred in Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lobster.