Legendary comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy will be the subject of an upcoming biopic set to star Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, respectively, as the famous comedians.
Stan & Ollie will reportedly chronicle the pair’s 1953 tour of British variety halls near the end of their tenure as the kings of the Hollywood comedy scene.
As reported by Screen Daily, the film will reunite Philomena star Coogan with that film’s Oscar-nominated screenwriter, Jeff Pope, and will have Filth director Jon S. Baird behind the camera. Coogan will portray Laurel and Step Brothers star Reilly will play Hardy in the movie, which is being produced by BBC Films.
“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,” said Pope. “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-colored 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.”
The film will reportedly feature Laurel and Hardy reflecting on their lives and careers as they criss-cross the U.K. and connect with their rapidly dwindling fan base. With Hardy’s health failing and the pair well aware that this could be their final tour together, they’re forced to confront their mortality, life after Hollywood fame, and what they mean to each other as partners.
Of the casting for the film, BBC Films’ Christine Langan said Coogan and Reilly “bring to life with uncanny accuracy and irresistible gusto the genius creative marriage that Jeff Pope’s script explores so lovingly.”
There’s no release date for Stan & Ollie at this point.