Josh Gad to Play Roger Ebert Opposite Will Ferrell in ‘Russ and Roger Go Beyond’
Josh Gad has reportedly been in talks for months to play iconic film critic Roger Ebert in Russ and Roger Go Beyond, a new film that follows Ebert’s personal and professional relationship with filmmaker Russ Meyer. Will Ferrell has been locked in the role of Meyer for a while now, but the rumors of Gad’s involvement have now become more official as the actor has officially signed on for the project.
According to Variety, Gad is set to play Ebert opposite Ferrell’s Meyer in Russ and Roger Go Beyond for director Michael Winterbottom. The film centers on the friendship and working relationship between the late film critic and the noted sexploitation filmmaker, who collaborated on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Russ and Roger Go Beyond is described as a “debauched comedy” following the duo as they endeavored to make the first X-rated film released by a major movie studio.
Emmy-winning writer Christopher Cluess (SNL, The Simpsons) wrote the screenplay, with Winterbottom and Neil and Rob Gibbons providing subsequent drafts. Gad’s involvement was contingent on finding time in his increasingly busy schedule — the actor recently wrapped production on the live-action Beauty and the Beast film, and is also lending his voice to the Angry Birds movie.
Production on Russ and Roger Go Beyond is set to commence later this year.