Steve Coogan is Laurel and John C Reilly Hardy in Stan & Ollie
by Naman Ramachandran
- Jon S Baird to direct Jeff Pope’s script
One of the greatest comic double acts in history will live again on the big screen. Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa [+see also:
film profile]) will play thin Englishman Stan Laurel and John C Reilly (The Lobster [+see also:
Q&A: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile]) the thickset American Oliver Hardy in Stan & Ollie. Jon S Baird (Filth [+see also:
film profile]) will direct from a script from acclaimed writer Jeff Pope (Philomena [+see also:
interview: Stephen Frears
film profile]). The film will follow Laurel & Hardy’s final UK tour in 1953 where they face dwindling audiences and the realisation that their Hollywood heydays are now over, but take solace in their friendship.
Licensed by the Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation, who own the rights to Laurel and Hardy, the film was developed by BBC Films. Faye Ward’s UK outfit Fable Pictures will produce the film alongside Pope’s Sonesta Films. BBC Films’ Christine Langan will serve as Executive Producer along with Pope and Gabrielle Tana (The Invisible Woman [+see also:
interview: Ralph Fiennes
Pope 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. 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."
Langan said, “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.”