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Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly will be Laurel and Hardy in Stan & Ollie

Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly

In what could be a potentially great casting coup, Filth's Jon S. Baird has wrangled the people to play Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in his new drama, Stan & Ollie. Put your hands together, then for Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly.

Set in the twilight years of the comedy legends' career, the film will focus on their farewell tour of Britain's variety halls in 1953. With their golden era now a distant memory, they're nevertheless still happy to be working together, and as they keep their partnership alive, they reconnect with legions of adoring fans. But there is a darker undercurrent to the success – their past comes back to haunt them and Hardy isn't in the best of health. We'll see how they approach what could be their swan song, and rediscover how much they mean to each other.

Developed by BBC Films and announced back in 2014, Stan & Ollie boasts a script by Philomena's Jeff Pope, who is also working as a producer and has secured the rights to the wok of Laurel and Hardy.

“Like so many others I grew up watching Laurel & Hardy and I’m therefore honoured to help bring this incredible true story of love, laughter and friendship to the big screen,” says Baird, with his comments echoed by producer Faye Ward, who last brought us Suffragette. “I feel privileged to have been entrusted to bring to screen the magnificent lives and work of comedy legends, Laurel and Hardy. It is incredibly exciting to be working with such a fantastic and collaborative team. Steve and John are a dream partnership and with Jon directing Jeff’s moving and affectionate screenplay, I know this will be a film to treasure for fans both old and new.”

The cameras should be cranking this year.