Roku, Inc. has announced an all-new original film about the life and times of beloved singer, entertainer, and pop parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic starring Daniel Radcliffe. WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story will be available exclusively on The Roku Channel.
According to the company’s press release, which we suspect may have been co-written by the noted satirist himself, the film “holds nothing back, exploring every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like “Eat It” and “Like a Surgeon” to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle. WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story takes audiences on a truly unbelievable journey through Yankovic’s life and career, from gifted child prodigy to the greatest musical legend of all time.”
Yankovic is indeed one of the most successful musical artists of all time, with fourteen studio albums to his credit, including his latest, Mandatory Fun, the first comedy album to debut at number one on the Billboard’s Top 200. He has sold over 12 million albums, including four gold and six platinum records. In 1985, Yankovic wrote and starred in the feature film UHF. He has made multiple TV, voiceover, and film appearances over the years and directed music videos for a diverse list of artists including, Hanson, The Presidents of The United States of America, and Ben Folds.
“When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I’m very happy to say we’re on schedule,” said Yankovic. “And I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.”
Yankovic himself will pen the sure-to-be epic alongside writer/director Eric Appel. Funny or Die and Tango will produce WEIRD. Appel stated, “When Weird Al first sat me down against my will and told me his life story, I didn’t believe any of it, but I knew that we had to make a movie about it.”
Henry Muñoz III, Funny Or Die Chairman and executive producer, stated in the release, “I am excited that my first project as the owner of Funny Or Die Studios is to help bring the story of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic to the screen. Weird Al is a comic genius and his impact on pop culture, his mastery of the music video, his award-winning music, and his incredible life are a perfect fit for the talented producers at FOD.”
Funny or Die’s past film projects include Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie and Between Two Ferns: The Movie. This will be their first project with Roku and Tango. Said Muñoz, “We are honored to partner with Roku, Tango, and our director Eric Appel on this important movie. WEIRD has brought together a weird and wonderful team of creative people, to tell the story of a man who has made people laugh and sing across the world.”
Yankovic and Appell will produce WEIRD alongside Mike Farah, Joe Farrell. and Whitney Hodack for Funny Or Die. Tim Headington, Lia Buman, and Max Silva for Tango. Henry Muñoz III and Tango’s Neil Shah will also serve as executive producers.
“There clearly aren’t enough biopic movies about famous musicians and we were excited to shine a light on the incredibly true, unexaggerated story of Weird Al,” said Colin Davis, Roku’s Head of Original Scripted Programming. “This is sincerely the ultimate combination of talent, creativity, and friends, coming together to make something genuinely funny and we could not be prouder to call this film a Roku Original.”
The Roku Channel features free and premium content to users of the Roku platform. Production on WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story will begin in Los Angeles in early February.