In accordance with previous reports, Pixels and The Wedding Ringer star Josh Gad has secured his place to star in comedy biopic Russ & Roger, playing the part of the late, great film critic Roger Ebert.
Directed by Michael Winterbottom, today’s news means that Gad is set to star opposite Will Ferrell in the film, who joined the project some time again as the other half of the titular pairing, Russ Meyer. Truth be told, Gad has been in contention to join the project for some time, though his commitment to the biopic was contingent on scheduling being on his side.
Prior to today’s announcement, 22 Jump Street star Jonah Hill had been linked with the role of Roger Ebert, though it’s understood Gad has long been the producers’ lead choice for the coveted part.
Working from a script by Emmy award-winning Christopher Cluess, Russ & Roger will tell the untold story of Ebert and Meyer as the crafted Beyond the Valley of the Dolls for 20th Century Fox circa 1970. Remaining true to their guns at the time, the pair take the fight to the ratings board regarding the film’s original X-rating. It ultimately proved to be a worthwhile cause, given that Beyond the Valley released to huge box office success.
Production on Russ & Roger – which has since dropped the Go Beyond subtitle – is set to get underway before the year’s end ahead of a theatrical release in 2016.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter