Deadline is reporting that comedian Will Ferrell is set to star as legendary filmmaker and cult favourite Russ Meyer in a film about the making of his film ‘Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls’. The film was written by critic Roger Ebert, now actors and Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill are also being considered to portray Ebert.
The script focus is the late 1960s, when cheap counterculture films like Easy Rider were minting money, and 20th Century Fox was struggling mightily over a number of big-budget flops. Meyer was already established as the outlaw helmer of softcore pulp films like Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill, and he wanted the legitimacy of making a studio film. Richard Zanuck, then head of 20th, gave him that opportunity because his profit margins were so high and his costs were minuscule.
When Meyer agreed to take on Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, he insisted the script get written by Ebert, the third-string movie critic of the Chicago Sun Times who had written one of the few positive reviews Meyer had ever received. Given the esteem in which Ebert was held as a film critic when he died, it seems remarkable he meshed so well with Meyer and his brigade of buxom actresses. The film will follow that relationship, and the struggle with the ratings board. It became the rare major studio release with an X rating, but it became a big profitable hit and Meyer and Ebert stayed close until the former died in 2004. Ebert passed away two years ago. Ferrell, who most recently starred with Kevin Hart in the Etan Cohen-directed comedy Get Hard, is repped by CAA and Mosaic.
Check out the original trailer below!