Filth director turns to Laurel & Hardy | New biopic from Jon S Bair

Filth director turns to Laurel & Hardy

New biopic from Jon S Bair

The director who adapted Irvine Welsh’s gritty novel Filth for the big screen is to make a biopic Laurel and Hardy.

Jon s Baird told Scotland on Sunday: ‘It’s really a love story between two guys who come to realise they can’t live without each other. It’s a really, really beautiful tale.’

Jeff Pope – who won an Oscar for co-writing Philomena with Steve Coogan – has scripted the movie, which will be based around the comic duo’s farewell tour of Britain in 1953.

At the time the duo were international superstars – but a split from their mentor, and a run of poorly received films had resulted in their star falling. Meanwhile, a series of acrimonious divorces, alimony battles and Oliver Hardy’s failing health added to the stresses

The 90-minute film, titled Stan And Ollie, is being made for BBC One by the corporation’s in-house comedy department.

BBC comedy chief Shane Allen said: ‘Stan And Ollie is Jeff’s love letter to two pioneers and enduring giants of screen comedy. It beautifully captures the deep emotional bond forged over a lifelong partnership as they reflect on their rollercoaster careers through the prism of this final UK farewell tour. An epic story about the world’s most famous comedy double-act to date, told with great insight and heart.’

No cast has yet been confirmed for the film, which is a co-production with New York film studio The Weinstein Company.

But Baird said he is in talks with two ‘very high level’ Hollywood stars to take the leads. Although he declined to name them he said: ‘Put it like this: it’s not ­Cannon and Ball.’

Published: 18 Nov 2014

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