Monday, January 18, 2016

Laurel and Hardy Biopic Cast Revealed


Steve Coogan will play Stan Laurel and John C Reilly will play Oliver Hardy.

Writer Jeff Pope
Director Jon S Baird
Producer Faye Ward

A Fable Pictures and Sonesta Films production, developed with BBC Films.

Stan and Ollie
A gripping story of the world renowned comedy duo Laurel & Hardy as they embark on their final UK tour in 1953

Faye Ward’s Fable Pictures, Jeff Pope’s Sonesta Films and BBC Films are delighted to announce Stan & Ollie – an original film based on one of the worlds most loved comedy duos and geniuses of their time - Laurel and Hardy. Inspired by actual events, Stan & Ollie, is an emotional tribute to two of the funniest men in movie history.

Penned by award winning screenwriter Jeff Pope (Philomena, Mrs Biggs) and directed by Jon S. Baird (Vinyl, Filth), Stan & Ollie stars stellar lead actors Steve Coogan (Philomena, Alan Partridge) as Stan Laurel and John C. Reilly (Chicago, We Need to Talk About Kevin) as Oliver Hardy. Developed by BBC Films, Stan & Ollie celebrates the duo’s unique friendship and legendary working partnership. The rights to the work of Laurel and Hardy has been licensed by Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation.

Jeff Pope, screenwriter says: “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. 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.”

Pictured below: Laurel and Hardy in their dressing room at the Newcastle Empire in 1953

Christine Langan, Head of BBC Films adds: “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.”

Laurel & Hardy, the world's favourite comedy double act, set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. 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.

Pictured below: Laurel and Hardy in London 1953

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.

Director Jon S. Baird says: "Like so many others I grew up watching Laurel & Hardy and I'm therefore honoured to help bring this incredible true story of love, laughter and friendship to the big screen.”

Faye Ward (Suffragette, Dancing on the Edge), Fable Pictures adds: “I feel privileged to have been entrusted to bring to screen the magnificent lives and work of comedy legends, Laurel and Hardy. It is incredibly exciting to be working with such a fantastic and collaborative team. Steve and John are a dream partnership and with Jon directing Jeff’s moving and affectionate screenplay, I know this will be a film to treasure for fans both old and new.”

Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly were the first choices of director Jon S. Baird and screenwriter Jeff Pope.

A Fable Pictures and Sonesta Films production, developed with BBC Films. Written by Jeff Pope, Directed by Jon S. Baird and Produced by Faye Ward. It is Executive Produced by Christine Langan and Nichola Martin for BBC Films, Jeff Pope for Sonesta Films and Gabrielle Tana.

Footage of Laurel and Hardy in Northampton (1953)

Press and Journal reports..

'Stan and Ollie' director Jon S. Baird said last night: “At the heart, it’s a love story – it’s a true love story between these two guys who were best pals. “When I was doing research on these two guys, I was watching clips from some of their old films. My young daughter – who was about four at the time – walked into the room and just burst out laughing. “She had no idea what I was doing, or who they were. But that strong, visual comedy never dies. People hold them in such high regard.” Mr Baird, whose television collaboration with legendary Hollywood director Martin Scorsese and Rolling Stones front-man Mick Jagger, “Vinyl” premiered last week, also rebuffed questions about Mr Coogan’s suitability. He said: “He’s a trained and very skilled actor. Steve was my first choice. I met him a while ago and he knows the character inside out. “He’s very serious about playing this guy and I couldn’t think of anyone better. “Stan Laurel was a workaholic and his whole life was dedicated to making people laugh. Steve understands that, he understands how difficult that is.” Mr Baird added: “Laurel and Hardy have passed away but their legacy lives on. You’ve got to be very respectful towards that. We’ve got a responsibility to their family and fans.” Primary filming on the film, which charts Laurel and Hardy’s swansong variety hall tour of Britain in 1953 – is due to begin later this year.


john rowland said...

If anyone can do this biopic any justice then thankfully it falls into the great hands of the BBC.can't wait

Christine Mccormick said...

Cant wait to see this,hope they do them justice,i,m sure they will,☺