With the recent death of Roger Ebert, it is almost a guarantee Hollywood would come up with a movie about the man. Strangely, the movie that is in the works is Russ & Roger Go Beyong, a film that chronicles the partnership of the renowned film critic and soft-core director Russ Meyer for the film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
I say strangely because I would have thought a mediocre, white-washed biopic would be the first film up. But, no. Instead we will be getting this odd little tale. Even more interesting is Will Ferrell has signed on to play Meyer, and Fox is looking to get Josh Gad in the mix as Ebert.
Quite frankly, this is the kind of biopic-like story I would like to see ten out of ten times. Even if the movie turns out to be terrible, I would much rather the movie have a focus on a story rather than a person. I do not want to have to sit through the Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom version of an Ebert movie. I do not think Ebert would like that. He would want something interesting.
As for the casting choice of Gad, I like the guy. I know he annoys a lot of people out there, but I place that more on the projects he is given rather than him. I think this could be an interesting role for him, and I am intrigued how he will tackle it and play off of Ferrell. Also, if you have not seen Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, it may not be a great movie, but it is an interesting one.
Original report from The Wrap.