Michael Winterbottom in Talks to Direct 'Russ & Roger Go Beyond'
As is customary with development of feature films in Hollywood, it's been a slow road for the real-life inspired showbiz tale of Russ & Roger Go Beyond. The project first surfaced in the fall of 2013, with Sobini Films, Permut Presentations and Chautauqua Entertainment announcing the acquisition of the screenplay from Christopher Cluess (a writer on "Saturday Night Live" and "The Simpsons") which follows the friendship between filmmaker Russ Meyer and Roger Ebert while working on the film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls for Fox in the late 1960s. And now, a year and a half later, the film just may have a director.
THR reports A Mighty Heart and 24 Hour Party People director Michael Winterbottom is in talks to direct the film that already has Will Ferrell attached to play Meyer, the king of sexploitation films responsible for films like Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill! In the 1960s, Meyer teamed with film critic Roger Ebert for their first studio film at 20th Century Fox, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a satire certainly stirred up controversy, but became a big hit in theaters. The film will tell the story of Meyer and Ebert's friendship and the struggles they had getting the film off the ground in the 1960s. Previously we heard Josh Gad was in talks for the Roger Ebert role, but there's no mention of him in this update. Stay tuned.