Roger Ebert, the famed film critic who passed away in 2013, is the subject of the multi-award winning 2014 documentary Life Itself. However he’s also set to be portrayed in another, more unusual, project – Russ and Roger Go Beyond. It’s billed as a comedy based on the real events surrounding the collaboration between Russ Meyer, writer and director of many comedic sexploitation films in the 1960’s and 70’s, and Roger Ebert to create the 1970’s parody-sequel to 1967’s Valley of the Dolls, the cult movie Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. It’s the only movie Ebert wrote under his own name and revolved around an all-girl rock band coming to Hollywood with dreams of making it big in the music industry, but end up concentrating more on the sex and drugs of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.
Already on board to star as Russ Meyer is Will Ferrell, who seems perfect for the role of a dodgy 1960’s softcore director. While Jonah Hill was originally sought to portray Ebert, producer David Permut told Hollwood Elsewhere that Josh Gad (Steve Wozniak in Jobs and the voice of Olaf in Frozen) is now in talks to star opposite Ferrell as the then-aspiring screen writer. Gad himself has since told Collider when asked to confirm his acceptance of the role, “We’ll see.” The script was written by Chris Cluess (MADtv, Night Court – I remember that… how old am I?).
He certainly has the look of a young Ebert and his star is currently rising, so I guess… we’ll see.
Last Updated: January 6, 2015