John C. Reilly, Steve Coogan Become Legendary Comedy Duo in 'Stan & Ollie' Trailer
"When you watch our movies, if it’s just the two of us, all we had was each other."
The curtain was raised on the first trailer for the upcoming film Stan & Ollie, starring John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan as the legendary comic duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
The Jon. S. Baird-directed movie is set in the early 1950s and centers on the late career of the comedy team of Laurel (Coogan) and Hardy (Reilly). The biopic chronicles the famed comedians' attempt to revive their careers by going on a tour of English variety halls after World War II.
Throughout the film, the relationship of the close friends is tested as the duo must face their dwindling status as comedy royalty in Hollywood. They also endure trials and tribulations that include jealousy, creative differences and health issues.
“I love you, but I won’t watch this nutty tour put you in a wooden box,” Hardy’s wife (Shirley Henderson) warns the comedian, who is shown in failing health on the tour.
Despite tensions between the two, Coogan's Laurel assures that they will always be a united force to be reckoned with. “When you watch our movies, if it’s just the two of us, all we had was each other,” he says.
Jeff Pope penned the biopic, set to have its world premiere as the closing-night film of the 62nd London Film Festival, a screening that Baird described as a "proud" moment.
“I’m really proud to be able to give the film its world premiere in London," the director said in a statement, "a city that’s so dear to myself and I know was to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Stan & Ollie, at its heart, is a love story between old friends, who just happen to be two of the most iconic comedic characters in Hollywood’s history."
The film is produced by eOne, BBC Films and Fable Pictures.
Stan & Ollie also proves to be another chapter in a big year for Reilly as the actor is already set to star in The Sisters Brothers; Holmes & Watson; and the Wreck-It Ralph sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, all releasing later this year.
In 1935, the real-life comedians penned an advice column for aspiring comedians in an anniversary edition of The Hollywood Reporter. The duo quipped that in order to be employed as a "funnyman," "it is necessary that you be able to talk fluently on the subjects of golf, bridge, night spots and Shakespeare."
"One highly important qualification for screen jester fame is one's ability to meet newspaper and magazine writers as man to man without flinching," Lauren and Hardy jokingly wrote.
Stephanie Hyam and Danny Huston will also star in the upcoming biopic.