Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Steve Coogan and John C Reilly to play Laurel & Hardy

1.jpg

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.

Related

tarantino.jpg

Tarantino confirms his films are all part of the same universe

1.jpg

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

revenant.jpg

Hilarious truthful posters for the 2016 Oscar nominees

Comments

More

Martin Scorsese on Margot Robbie’s improvised slap during an audition

The moment that earned her a starring role

by Tom Victor
24 Apr 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 drops rap song featuring The Hoff

Just remember: we are Groot

by Matt Tate
21 Apr 2017

Harry Styles strongly hints he'll play Mick Jagger in a new movie

Surely Harry's more Keith isn't he?

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Apr 2017

Will Smith is in talks to play the Genie in Guy Ritchie's Aladdin

Cockney accent unconfirmed

by Gary Ogden
20 Apr 2017

New trailer lands for Studio Ghibli alumni's first film

Keeping the spirit alive

by Matt Tate
19 Apr 2017

Happy Easter: here's the first trailer for Star Wars The Last Jedi

The first glimpse of Episode VIII

by Dave Fawbert
14 Apr 2017

Choose your own Game of Thrones ending with this theory generator

Spoiler: Podrick Payne will kill the Night King

by Matt Tate
13 Apr 2017

These secret Netflix codes will give you access to the entire library

by Joe Ellison
12 Apr 2017

That incredible new 'Thor: Ragnarok' trailer is a record-breaker

136 million views... and counting

by Matt Tate
12 Apr 2017

The tree from Shawshank Redemption is going to become a table

Too soon, guys

by Ryan Young
11 Apr 2017