Michael Winterbottom in Talks to Direct 'Russ & Roger Go Beyond'

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Michael Winterbottom

Michael Winterbottom, who directed Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart, is in negotiations to direct Russ & Roger Go Beyond, the indie movie centering on Roger Ebert and filmmaker Russ Meyer.

Will Ferrell is attached to play Meyer in the comedy, which is being produced by Permut Presentations and Sobini Films. STX Entertainment, the new financing and distribution studio launched last year, is backing the feature

Ferrell will play Meyer, the sexploitation king who made movies like Wild Gals of the Naked West and Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill! before finally landing a picture deal at 20th Century Fox, which liked the way he handled his budgets. The first movie out of the gate was Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a satire that ran afoul the censors but ended up becoming a 1970s classic.

Meyer wrote the movie with Ebert, who in the late 1960s was just a budding film critic who had written Meyer a letter of admiration. Together, the two tackled the ratings tribunal and the tightly-wound studio.

Chris Cluess wrote the script.

Producing are David Permut, and Sobini's Cami Winikoff, Mark Amin and Tyler Boehm.

Winterbottom is a British director known for helming 2002’s 24 Hour Party People, 2007’s A Mighty Heart, which saw Jolie portray the wife of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, and the 2010 adaptation of the Jim Thompson novel The Killer Inside Me, which starred Casey Affleck and Kate Hudson.

He is repped by UTA and Independent Talent Group.