‘Russ and Roger Go Beyond’ Eyes ‘Once’ Director John Carney
John Carney’s Sing Street was a hit at Sundance, but when we spoke with the director he told us that it might be his last musical for a while. It looks like Carney may have found his first non-musical gig with Russ and Roger Go Beyond, the long-developing project that will explore the friendship between iconic film critic Roger Ebert and cult director Russ Meyer, who collaborated on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
Deadline reports that Carney is in talks to helm Russ and Roger Go Beyond, which has been in development for a few years now with Josh Gad and Will Ferrell attached to play Ebert and Meyer, respectively. The script was written by former MADtv scribe Chris Cluess, and tells the story of how 20th Century Fox tried to capitalize on the popularity of counterculture in the ’60s by hiring the Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! director to helm a big budget film. Meyer selected Ebert to write the screenplay because the critic had positively reviewed one of his films.
Michael Winterbottom (The Trip) and Ben Stiller previously considered directing the film, which has been coming together slowly but surely. Carney is best known for directing musical films Once and Begin Again, and most recently helmed the ’80s coming-of-age musical Sing Street, which hits theaters in April. While Russ and Roger Go Beyond is definitely not a musical, it’s also not your typical biopic, and requires a director with a distinct vision who can give the film some proper pizzazz.
Russ and Roger Go Beyond was originally planning a 2016 release, but we likely won’t see it until sometime next year.