In the last few years Will Ferrell has been trying to mix big, broad mainstream comedies with more interesting indie fare (much of which have bombed spectacularly at the box office, but never mind). Now he’s circling another movie being made outside the studio system, as he may play legendary b-movie director filmmaker Russ Meyer in the film Russ & Roger Go Beyond, according to Deadline.
The film is based on how Meyer – who’s best known for soft-core erotic films such as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! – was offered the chance to direct Beyond the Valley of the Dolls by 20th Century Fox.
Meyer agreed, but only under the condition that Roger Ebert, who was then a relatively minor film critic at the Chicago Sun Times, was hired to write the script, partly because Ebert wrote one of the few positive reviews of Meyer’s work.
Unsurprisingly the unconventional and non-Hollywood pairing had huge struggles working within the studio system and with the ratings board, who weren’t impressed by the movie’s sexy shenanigans. It became one of the few major studio releases that was released with an X rating, but the filmmakers were eventually vindicated when it became a profitable hit.
The project doesn’t have a director attached yet, although Edgar Wright has been rumoured, while actors such as Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen are said to be interested in playing Ebert.