According to Deadline Hollywood, Rob Zombie is slated to direct a biopic on the final years of comedian Groucho Marx’s life. Yes, you read that right.
If you thought you’d never hear the names Groucho Marx and Rob Zombie mentioned in the same sentence — much less the same headline — you’re not alone. But for those that know the heavy metal maestro and horror aficionado, it makes perfect sense.
A huge Marx fan, Zombie gobbled up several books on the iconic vaudevillian before landing on Steven Stoliar’s Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House. The book, which chronicles Stoliar’s time as a Marx’s secretary and archivist, struck such a cord with the musician, he quickly began making plans for a film.
“After reading the book Raised Eyebrows, a totally new perspective on Groucho’s life emerged,” Zombie told Deadline Hollywood. “I immediately saw this project as Groucho’s Sunset Boulevard and knew I had to bring it to the big screen. It is a sad, funny, and very dark tale of a one of Hollywood’s greatest stars final years.”
For a man whose first solo album was Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International and who directed such titles as House of 1,000 Corpses, a biopic about a legendary comedian isn’t exactly the logical next step. But Rob Zombie has no interest in the box you’ve put him in, and he’s got the clout to broaden his horizons.
While working for Marx, Stoliar found himself in the company of plenty of other big stars and larger-than-life personalities. The book details run-ins with Bob Hope, George Burns, and Mae West, just to name a few. It also delves into his difficulties with Erin Fleming, an eccentric actress who became Marx’s companion during his later years.
No word on who will play Marx, and we certainly don’t envy those casting the film — those are some pretty big shoes to step into.