BBC backs ‘epic’ Laurel and Hardy biopic
lt captures the deep emotional bond forged over a lifetime
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Wednesday 04 December 2013
The BBC has commissioned an “epic” biopic of Laurel and Hardy and their farewell tour of Britain.
The 90-minute film, Stan and Ollie, which is made for television, has been backed by the big-hitting US producer Harvey Weinstein.
The project has been in development for a while, but had failed to get off the ground. Jeff Pope, who wrote Mrs Biggs and Philomena, has penned the screenplay. So far, no actors have been cast.
Shane Allen, the controller of BBC comedy commissioning, said: “Stan and Ollie is Jeff’s love letter to two pioneers and enduring giants of screen comedy. It beautifully captures the deep emotional bond forged over a lifelong partnership as they reflect on their rollercoaster careers through the prism of this final UK farewell tour.”
The film will chronicle the pair’s British tour in 1953, at which time the Hollywood stars had fallen from grace after a run of poorly received films and a split from their mentor. Hardy’s failing health and a series of acrimonious divorces only compounded the situation, yet the tour proved a success, with audiences flocking to see them. Until Hardy’s heart attack.
Charlotte Moore, the controller of BBC1, said it was a “poignant single film about one of Britain’s best-loved double acts”. It will cover the very end of the pair’s remarkable career, as Hardy roused himself from his sickbed for a few last, triumphant performances.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre