Will Ferrell may play the legendary Russ Meyer in an upcoming Indie movie of the cult director.
Deadline.com is reporting that Will Ferrell is licking his chops over the chance to portray legendary softcore movie producer Russ Meyer in an independent film that explores the relationship between Meyer and film critic Roger Ebert during their collaboration on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
Director Russ Meyer
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.” Fleming reports that Meyer insisted that Ebert write the screenplay for his movie, because, he implies, Ebert “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,” adds Fleming, “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.” A director is not yet attached to the project, adds Fleming. “Filmmakers including Edgar Wright are intrigued,” he writes, “as are actors who might play the late Ebert, a strong role for anyone from Jonah Hill to Seth Rogen and others. The production team of Mark Amin’s Sobini Films and David Permut and Richard Waltzer are reportedly in place for the movie, currently titled Russ & Roger Go Beyond.
About Russ Meyer
The son of a policeman and a nurse, Russ Meyer began winning prizes at 15 with his amateur films. He spent World War II in Europe as a combat cameraman. After the war, he became a professional photographer, shooting some of the earliest Playboy centerfolds. He made his film directorial debut with The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959), the first nudie (softcore sex) film to make a profit over a million dollars, which led to a string of self-financed films that gradually became more bizarre, violent, and cartoonish. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), was an enormous hit, but after the lukewarm reception of the uncharacteristically serious The Seven Minutes (1971), Meyer returned to the sex-and-violence films that made his name, culminating in the delirious Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979). AVN | Deadline | Article image : Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Associated Press