After co-writing Philomena with Steve Coogan (and sharing the Venice Film Festival’s Best Screenplay Prize), Jeff Pope is not a man wanting for work. He’s already scored one job: writing a biopic of cinema comedy legends Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
While the planned 90-minute film is likely to air on the Beeb over here, US audiences may end up seeing it on the big screen thanks to a deal with Philomena distributor The Weinstein Company. Stan And Ollie will focus on Laurel and Hardy’s 1953 tour of the UK. It came at a time when their fame was starting to decline and, after 106 films together, they were beset by personal issues.
The tour, however, was initially a big success, at least until Hardy suffered a heart attack and was ordered to relax. Though Laurel was offered a shot at a solo tour, he refused, and waited for his comedy partner to recover for their last few, triumphant performances, shortly after which Hardy died. There’s no word yet on who will play either man, so leave your casting suggestions in the comments or on that fine mess we call Twitter.