Will Ferrell Playing Legendary B-Producer Russ Meyer

Will Ferrell cast as grindhouse innovator Russ Meyer in new biopic on Meyer and Roger Ebert making Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Russ Meyer is a name that’s notoriety walks hand-in-hand with its infamy. As the man who gave the world Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill, Meyer combined softcore thrills with movies that equally fetishized fast cars and fast violence along with the ever-so fast women. So, it’s an intriguing choice when Will Ferrell is playing the producer of late ‘60s and early ‘70s grindhouse innovation.
As reported by Deadline, Ferrell has closed a deal to play Meyer in Russ & Roger Go Beyond, a new independent biopic that seeks to tell the story of when Meyer got studio backing to co-write, produce, and direct the cheapie, nudie sequel Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and how he recruited Chicago Sun-Times Critic Roger Ebert to write the screenplay.
An unlikely subject matter, it played a humorous detour in last month’s superb Ebert biopic Life Itself, and is now gaining quick traction. Christopher Cluess has written the (apparently) comedic script and Sobin Films is producing the picture alongside David Permut and Richard Waltzer. The part of Roger Ebert has yet to be cast, but the guesses going on as to who it could be are already occurring (our own speculative pitch would be Patton Oswalt).
According to Deadline, Edgar Wright has expressed interest in possibly directing the film.
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is a “sequel” to the more well-respected 1967 cult film Valley of the Dolls, which starred the ill-fated Sharon Tate.
The sequel is a smutty 1970 production full of nudity that left Ebert chagrined for decades, particularly after he became a Pulitzer Prize winning writer in 1975. But it also serves as a curious monument to the collapsing studio system of 1970 when 20th Century Fox brought Meyer in to produce this picture for them.
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