Weird Al Yankovic Is Getting His Own Biopic Starring Daniel Radcliffe
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Over the past decade and change, a brand new genre of films have found themselves at the forefront of our pop culture zeitgeist, making their way to big screens across the nation at the behest of absolutely no one – terrible, terrible Oscar-bait biopics.
2012's Liz & Dick boldly asked the question of “what if Lindsay Lohan played a young Elizabeth Taylor." Based on its 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems the answer is nothing short of “insane awfulness,” as The Atlantic put it. The following year, the Steve Jobs biopic Jobs illustrated that maybe when one of the real-life characters featured in your film – in this case, Job's colleague/fellow Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak – calls your script “crap,” it may be high time to rethink your approach. And with its 2% Rotten Tomatoes rating, the 2016's Nina Simone retrospective, Nina, proved that the key to alienating audiences and critics alike is a simple one-two punch – blatantly disrespecting your subject *and* featuring makeup so horrendous, that some say it constitutes blackface.
But after enduring all of the atrocious aforementioned movies, it seems we're finally getting the biopic we need and deserve in these trying times – a look back on the life and times of parody artist, comedian extraordinaire, and national treasure, “Weird Al” Yankovic.
Featuring Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe in its titular role (a coveted part he probably had to beat out Robert Deniro and Tom Hanks to snag) WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story promises to hold “nothing back" in portraying the five-decade spanning career of its subject, according to the film's official release statement. Penned by Yankovic and Funny or Die alum, Eric Appel, who also serves as the movie's director, the upcoming biopic says it will take “audiences on a truly unbelievable journey through Yankovic's life and career, from gifted child prodigy to the greatest musical legend of all time,” all while “exploring every facet of Yankovic's life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like 'Eat It' and 'Like a Surgeon' to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle.”
A joint production from Funny or Die and Tango, principal photography on the film is slated to begin in Los Angeles next month. It will ultimately be released for free on the Roku channel. Though no formal premiere date has been set thus far, Yankovic says fans can expect the film to hit the small screen sometime later this year.
"When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I'm very happy to say we're on schedule," Yankovic, explained in a statement, adding that he is “absolutely thrilled,” to have Radcliffe on board. “I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for,” he continued. Be very afraid, Harry Potter – you've got some weird competition when it comes to Daniel Radcliffe's legacy.
So folks, even though filming hasn't commenced on WEIRD, if there was any movie poised to line up Oscar nominations like a Kathryn Bigelow period drama, it's sure as hell this one.
Top Image: Gage Skidmore (Wikimedia Commons)/RCA