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LONDON — The Weinstein Co. and the BBC have teamed with U.K. production banner Lookout Point to bring a 90-minute TV biopic on legendary comedy duo Laurel and Hardy to the small screen.
Philomena co-writer Jeff Pope has been tasked with penning the screenplay.
The BBC said the film will focus on Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy‘s 1953 U.K. tour, which was meant to provide light relief for the pair who faced declining popularity and personal issues after having made 106 films together.
As the tour saw their popularity soar again, disaster struck when Hardy suffered a heart attack. He tried to carry on performing on the tour, but it became clear that he was too ill. Laurel was offered the chance to perform alone, but refused. Hardy died shortly thereafter.
Controller of BBC comedy commissioning Shane Allen described Pope’s script as a “love letter to two pioneers and enduring giants of screen comedy.”
Allen added: “It beautifully captures the deep emotional bond forged over a lifelong partnership as they reflect on their roller-coaster careers through the prism of this final U.K. farewell tour.”
A BBC In-House Comedy/BBC Worldwide/Lookout Point co-production for BBC One, the film was commissioned by Allen and Danny Cohen as former controller of BBC One.
Saurabh Kakkar for the BBC and Simon Vaughan for Lookout Point are executive producers together with Harvey Weinstein for The Weinstein Co.
“This is the perfect BBC/Weinstein collaboration — a British drama with Hollywood DNA. Harvey’s talent relationships will help us bring this to the screen with huge ambition,” said Vaughan.
The cast will be confirmed at a later date, the BBC said.
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