Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Steve Coogan and John C Reilly to play Laurel & Hardy


In news that might have Rob Brydon feeling a pang of jealousy, Steve Coogan is to star as Stan Laurel alongside John C Reilly as Oliver Hardy for a new BBC film.

Directed by Jon S Baird (Filth), Stan & Ollie, focusing on the slapstick duo's final tour in 1953, which saw them play a series of UK variety halls, shines a light on the duo’s sometimes fractious off-stage relationship as they come to terms with ill-health, poor ticket sales and looming fact their careers were almost over.

Aptly, Laurel, like Coogan, was a Lancashire lad, born in Ulverston before emigrating to the US and famously joining forces with Hardy to become one of the world’s most beloved slapstick acts. Hardy eventually died four years after that twilight tour at the age of 65, and Laurel died four years after that aged 74.

Speaking of the project, writer Jeff Pope, who worked with Coogan on Oscar-nominated Philomena, said:

"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.”

Echoing those sentiments, Head of BBC Films Christine Langan said Coogan and Reilly were "dream casting" to portray the "genius creative marriage" of the pair.

Shame we won't hear either man doing Michael Caine impressions over a trifle. But then you can't have everything.



Tarantino confirms his films are all part of the same universe


Deadpool has been banned in China - and that's good for us


Hilarious truthful posters for the 2016 Oscar nominees



The very best 'so-bad-they're-good' movies you absolutely need to see

Thought 'The Room' was bad? You ain't seen nothing yet

by Gary Ogden
21 Jul 2017

Watch the trailer for 'The Disaster Artist', the film about 'The Room'

James Franco steps into Tommy Wiseau's infamous boots

by Gary Ogden
18 Jul 2017

The 90% or higher-rated Rotten Tomatoes films you've never seen before

Hidden gems you have to add to your list

by Carl Anka
18 Jul 2017

Why the 'Planet of The Apes' series is the best trilogy of the century

The prequel series is that rarest of things: a trilogy without a dud

by Carl Anka
18 Jul 2017

An immersive Star Wars hotel is coming and it looks amazing

Like a Star Wars-themed Westworld - but real

by Gary Ogden
17 Jul 2017

George A. Romero, creator of Night of the Living Dead, dies at 77

Fans and celebrities have paid tribute to him on Twitter

by Gary Ogden
17 Jul 2017

Talking haircuts and Dunkirk with Cillian Murphy in a hall of mirrors

"To an actor, nostalgia is death. The next piece I do will be the best piece I do."

by Chris Mandle
14 Jul 2017

Quentin Tarantino's new movie will be based on an infamous murder case

He's dipping into true crime

by Gary Ogden
12 Jul 2017

The 10/10-rated movies Reddit says you have to see before you die

How many have you seen?

by Matt Tate
12 Jul 2017

The 10 scariest, must-see horror movies at London's Frightfest

Essential for fright fans

by Gary Ogden
11 Jul 2017