Steve Coogan and John C Reilly join forces for Laurel and Hardy tribute film
COMEDIC actors Steve Coogan and John C Reilly will join forces to play beloved double act Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in a tribute movie, it's been revealed.
The new television film entitled Stan and Ollie will be written by renowned screenwriter Jeff Pope, who has a BAFTA award under his belt for the 2013 hit film Philomena.
The programme, which has been developed by BBC films, will follow the comedy duo’s variety hall tour of Britain in 1953.
Jeff’s dramatisation will see Laurel and Hardy’s initial struggle to make an impact as they fail to sell out venues across the country, as well as the hardships they faced with Hardy’s failing health.
The accumulating issues threaten to ruin their partnership as the two men try to reconnect with each other, as well as their fans.
The new film has been described as an “emotional tribute to two of the funniest men in movie history”.
Laurel and Hardy were one of the best-loved acts in early American cinema, and starred in classic films such as The Music Box, Sons Of The Desert and Way Out West.
Speaking about his admiration for the pair, film screenwriter Jeff said: “Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are my heroes. 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.”
He continued: “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.”
Christine Langan, of BBC Films, added: “John C Reilly and Steve Coogan are dream casting for Stan & Ollie, bringing to life with uncanny accuracy and irresistible gusto the genius creative marriage that Jeff Pope’s script explores so lovingly.
“With Faye Ward producing and Jon Baird at the helm, BBC Films is extremely excited to crank up production of this gem in 2016.”