Kay Cannon set to direct biopic movie Del & Charna
Deadline reports that Blockers director Kay Cannon has signed on to helm Red Crown Productions’ forthcoming biographical drama film titled Del & Charna, which will center on the partnership between comedy legends Del Close and Charna Halpern. This project will be Cannon’s fourth film as the director. She is best known for writing and producing the Pitch Perfect film franchise and is set to direct Sony Pictures’ musical film adaptation of Cinderella.
“Improv has been such an instrumental part of our lives that we’re incredibly honored to tell this special, unique story with the blessing of Charna Halpern. Dan and Yoni are amazing champions, and we’re excited to have Rich and Alex writing because they bring a wealth of knowledge to the project as former students of both Charna and Del,” Cannon and Laverne McKinnon of K&L Productions said in a statement.
Written by Rich Talarico and Alex Fendrich, Del & Charna will tell the true story of the unlikely pairing of eccentric improv legend, Del Close and feisty comedy theater owner, Charna Halpern. The movie chronicles their tumultuous 19-year relationship, which saw them as friends, saviors, and soulmates. Together, these two helped each other overcome his addiction, financial ruin, and their own personal demons to ultimately establish improv as an art form, launching the careers of some of our most beloved comedians, writers, and directors.
“My life with Del was always funny, sometimes scary and extremely profound. I’m overjoyed to finally share our story with the world,” Halpern said.
Close and Halpern is best known for establishing Chicago’s ImprovOlympic (now named as iO Chicago) in 1981, which is the famous training ground for many comedians including Saturday Night Live alums Mike Myers, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Bill Murray, and Dan Aykroyd along with Emmy winners Stephen Colbert and Bob Odenkirk. , In 1999, Close passed away at the age of 64 due to a pulmonary disease called emphysema.
“We are thrilled to bring the story of Del Close and Charna Halpern, two comedic icons to the screen and explore how their evolving relationship impacted the history of comedy and influenced future performers,” Producer Daniel Crown said. “We look forward to partnering with Kay Cannon, whose comedic filmmaking has brought the genre to new heights.”
Del & Charna will be produced by Cannon and Laverne McKinnon through their K&L Productions banner along with Red Crown’s Daniel Crown and Yoni Liebling. K&L Productions’ Irene Marquette will serve as an executive producer.