The biopic just got a little more efficient as Deadline reports that Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly have joined forces for Stan And Ollie, a TV movie about the comedy duo that’s better known by the surnames Laurel & Hardy. Coogan will get to use his English accent in the role of Stan Laurel, who also happened to be English, and Reilly will embody the mini-mustachioed mischief of Oliver Hardy, the Georgia native who teamed up with Laurel in 1927. The influential and beloved pair went on to perform in over 100 films together, including dozens of silent shorts, as well as the Oscar-winning short The Music Box.
The film will reportedly focus on Laurel And Hardy’s “now-legendary 1953 comedy tour,” which was also the pair’s last. Although they initially struggled with their waning popularity, attendance on the tour picked up as it went on, and the two comedians were soon able to “re-connect with legions of adoring fans, old and new.” Hardy was dogged by health issues and Laurel pressured to perform alone, but the two men’s friendship inspired them to wrap up the tour together. BBC One commissioned Stan And Ollie about two years ago, which Jon S. Baird (Vinyl) has been tapped to direct. The script comes from Philomena scribe Jeff Pope, and will serve as a “love letter to two pioneers and enduring giants of screen comedy.” There’s no word on when the TV movie will be released, but Deadline quotes a BBC Films executive as being “excited to crank up production of this gem in 2016.”