by: S. Scott Stanikmas
It was rumored a few weeks ago that Josh Gad was in talks to portray legendary film critic Roger Ebert in the upcoming film Russ and Roger. Now The Hollywood Reporter has the good word that Gad has officially signed on to play Ebert in the film. Gad will play opposite Will Ferrell as filmmaker Russ Meyer.
THR describes the film as “a debaucherous comedy centering on two outsiders who defied the Hollywood establishment and made one of the first X-rated films ever released by a major movie studio.”
The duo of Ebert and Meyer collaborated on the film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. FOX, the studio behind Beyond, was hoping to cash in on Meyer’s success with cheap working methods to pump out a hit after a string of flops hurt the studio. Meyer was hired as the director and he hired Ebert soon after to work on the story and screenplay.
The two hit it off famously and the rest is Tinseltown history. Russ and Roger will explore the duo’s professional and personal relationship.
With both Josh Gad and Will Ferrell involved, I’d expect nothing short of hilarity from this project. The film will be directed by Michael Winterbottom who is working off of a script from Saturday Night Live writer Christopher Cluess.