Last year, a curious independent project started taking shape in the form of Russ & Roger Go Beyond. Penned by The Simpsons and SNL scribe Christopher Cluess, the film chronicles the relationship between Roger Ebert and provocative director Russ Meyer as they develop and produce 1970’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which marked Ebert’s one and only screenplay credit. Meyer was coming off a string of pulp films like Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill when he was asked by Fox to helm Dolls. When he signed on, Meyer insisted that Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert write the screenplay. The two struck up a rapport that continued until Ebert’s passing, and the film will follow their path to getting Dolls made, including the controversy with the ratings board surrounding the film’s X rating.
It’s been some time since we’ve heard about Russ & Roger Go Beyond, but now it appears that the project has piqued the interest of Will Ferrell, who is circling the role of Meyer. More after the jump.
Per Deadline, Will Ferrell is circling the role of Russ Meyer in the film, and the project has gained interest from a number of filmmakers. Among them, Deadline notes that Edgar Wright is “intrigued” by the pic, and adds that the role of Ebert is being sought after by a number of actors. If Ferrell does indeed sign on, the project should move forward quickly as producers are hoping to start shooting early next year.
Though the prospect of seeing Edgar Wright take the helm of a movie about the making of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is kind of incredible, it doesn’t seem likely given that he recently committed to making Baby Driver as his next feature. Of course, Deadline only said that he was “intrigued” by the project and doesn’t report any official involvement, so who knows how close he is/was to formally signing on. After exiting Marvel’s Ant-Man, Wright has made some extremely exciting decisions with regards to upcoming projects, also attaching himself to Sony’s insane-sounding Grasshopper Jungle, which he plans to tackle after Baby Driver.