Josh Gad Eyed to Play Roger Ebert in ‘Russ and Roger Go Beyond’
One of the most interesting stories in the history of film criticism is that of Roger Ebert and exploitation film director Russ Meyer, who hired Ebert to pen the script for ‘Beyond the Valley of the Dolls’ after the famed critic gave one of Meyer’s films a positive review. That story is heading to the big screen with Will Ferrell in the role of Meyer, and Josh Gad may very well be joining him in the role of beloved critic Roger Ebert.
The Wrap reports that Gad is being eyed for the role of Ebert alongside Ferrell’s Meyer in ‘Russ and Roger Go Beyond.’ Ferrell has been locked in for a while now, but the role of Ebert (who sadly passed away in 2014) has remained vacant. Over the last couple of years or so, Gad has become increasingly prominent, thanks to roles in ‘Jobs,’ ‘Frozen’ (as talking snowman Olaf), and ‘The Internship.’ Gad is also slated to play legendary comedian Sam Kinison in a new biopic from Larry Charles, and he also appears in the upcoming films ‘The Wedding Ringer’ and ‘Pixels.’
‘Russ and Roger Go Beyond’ was written by ‘SCTV’ and ‘MADtv’ veteran Christopher Cluess and tells the story of how Meyer (known for his affection for large-breasted women) hired Ebert to collaborate on ‘Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.’ The film was released in 1970, and Ebert and Meyer famously battled with 20th Century Fox over the profits.
The project does not yet have a director, and while Ferrell’s casting should be a big draw for whichever actors are eyed for the role of Ebert, landing a great director would likely help seal the deal for the right co-star.