Paul Walter Hauser Playing Chris Farley In New Biopic

Chris Farley, Paul Walter Hauser

by James White |
Published on

Though the tide of late has turned more towards a Bohemian Rhapsody-powered focus on biopics of musicians (Amy Winehouse story Back To Black just hit cinemas, films about Michael Jackson and the Bee Gees are either in production or development), there is always room for other entertainers with particularly compelling stories. One such example is Saturday Night Live staple-turned-film comedy actor Chris Farley, whose star burned bright before it was snuffed out decades too early by excess and addiction. Paul Walter Hauser is now attached to star as Farley in the film to be directed by actor/producer and now filmmaker Josh Gad.

Farley, who initially had seemed destined to join his father in the oil business, was lured away by the thrill of performing, eventually ending up at Chicago's Second City improv troupe (which he joined the same day as fellow future comedy icon Stephen Colbert) and from there was recruited by Lorne Michaels for SNL.

A successful run on the show translated, as it often does, to film roles, and he became known for the likes of Tommy Boy, Black Sheep and Beverly Hills Ninja.

But with fame came health struggles, and after being sober for three years, he would relapse and fall back in to drugs and alcohol, dying from an overdose in 1997 at 33, shocking peers and fans.

This is all being put together in quite the compelling package –– the life rights to Farley's story come via his brother, Tom Farley Jr. who wrote biography The Chris Farley Show: A Biography In Three Acts with Tanner Colby, and would produce here. 500 Days Of Summer duo Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber are aboard to write the script based on the book.

And Gad, who is more known for voicing Olaf in the Frozen films, playing LeFou in 2017's Beauty And The Beast and generally being in front of the camera, is stepping behind it to make the biopic.

We'll have to see where it ends up, but Hauser has certainly proved himself more than capable of filling the role, and has brought real life people to the screen in the likes of Richard Jewell and I, Tonya.

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