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Stan Laurel, an Englishman, and Oliver Hardy, an American, were both regular actors in silent films prior to teaming up for their first project in a 1927 short, but quickly gained a following and found major studio success well into the 1940s, starring in over a hundred films. Their pioneering slapstick gags with the slender bumbling Stan being the clumsy buffoon to Ollie’s arrogant, hefty straight man became audience favorites. In their distinctive bowler hats, they were a cinema sensation for decades before taking their act on tour in the UK before retiring. This new film focuses on a 1953 tour of England, one of their last, and the starting point for the team’s demise as attendance waned and their popularity plummeted.
Taking the roles of Stan and Ollie are two big names in comedy and drama. Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder, Philomena) and John C. Reilly (Magnolia, The Dewey Cox Story) will play the leads and Jon S. Baird (Filth) will direct for BBC Films. Both Coogan and Reilly have well-known comedy backgrounds, but they are no strangers to drama, which will be a major part of the film, despite the obvious laughs the story must present. The plot will spend much of the time examining their working and personal relationships and its effect on both their lives as the end of their careers fast approaches.
While no release dates of other news is available, the casting choices are pretty sound, and are good news in how filmmakers are tackling this important slice of cinema history. We all said that about the Three Stooges film back in 2012, too, when Sean Penn and Jim Carrey were lined up to star, but then the cast abandoned the project and it went in a whole different direction. Let’s hope this film remains true to the source material and honors these two comedic icons. What do you think of a Laurel & Hardy film being made? Are you fans of the duo? Let us know in the comments below.